I finally found Lacey a bit that she actually likes and she can actually feel!
It's basically something like this: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...8/dscf0036.jpg
with a bit more of a port and the shanks are slightly more swept back. Apparently it's a pelham but I've been riding in it like it's a curb and she looooves it.
I bought her a "real" curb though just because the rings on the thing I have are so mobile, I feel like that takes a little "feel" away from me. Said "real" curb should be here sometime this next week and I can't wait. I looked for one with a similar port ( NP Sweet Iron Loose Cheek Western Curb Bit 5in - Horse.com
) and I think she's going to really like it.
I was, and still am, so surprised by her reaction to this bit. With other bits (even the other solid mouthed curb I tried her in) her head comes up and she starts dancing around in a barely controllable fashion aka if you want her to fully stop, you're outta luck. But! With this bit her head went down (and she arched her neck like some sort of Arab WP horse, only not as extreme), her gaits got slower and smoother (hello slow gentle trot that I've been trying to get for literally years), and hello perfect neck reining skills!
Also, guess who suddenly "remembered" how to sidepass without rearing? Oh, just a certain "elderly" gray Arab mare known for her rearing skizazzles...
I'm completely not sure, at all, how just a bit could change her behavior so dramatically but I'm completely fine with it. Hahaha
I already know that she really compartmentalizes behaviors to go with certain tack (maybe something her previous owner taught her to do?) so maybe she was trained to the nines western and then has been hiding it all this time? I dunno.
That horse, she never ceases to surprise me. I feel like when I get my Aussie saddle, she's going to bust out some cattle wrangling moves or some endurance thing I never knew existed.
I feel like her mind/training is a video game of sorts - "you must collect all the tokens before annihilating the boss and advancing to the next level!" Apparently I'm doing pretty good.
Anyway, I thought I'd share. I'm excited.