THR, there is no reason that you can't get good bend in your mullen mouth bit. He just has to learn the proper way to respond to the pressure from one rein.
Thanks smrobs! I might just need to refresh his memory of bending at the start of a ride. Lately I have been kind of hopping on an going (other than a little ground work) and I haven't practiced bending his head around lately so maybe that's why he's less responsive to it. He is nice and soft to it when using two reins.
But twice our last ride....once when he spooked at a dog coming up from behind and he did a small bolt and another time when we were trotting and he got kid of frisky and started humping his back, I tried a one-rein-stop to get him back under control and he kind of braced his neck instead of turning. But I got him back under control fine, it's not like he took off running, but I want to have a good one-rein-stop (or hind quarters disengagement, whatever a person wants to call it) for emergencies and naughty behavior.
I've started trying this one (Jr Cow Horse Bit #349):
The initial reaction from my mare seems good, but I need a lot more rides on it before I make a permanent (or at least long term) switch to it. It doesn't show up in the picture, but the mouthpiece is curved, not flat. The roller on the centerpiece is snug, and rolls instead of rattles. The shanks are short & the ratio looks to be about 1.5 : 1. Give me a month to see how it does...
Mia has a tendency both to fall to the inside on her turns & to lower her head too far when cantering. I'm hoping the bit will help me get her past those habits. She seemed pretty content during her first rides in it.
THR, young horses are really bad about "forgetting" what they are supposed to do if you don't really remind them sometimes. Occasionally, all it takes is a little bump in the mouth to make them get the cobwebs out. Other times, it takes a whole long....um...discussion. LOL