Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
It your horse concerned, or is it you?
I've tried 3 types of the 3-piece snaffles with my mare. She is OK the first ride, not so OK the second ride, and doesn't want the bit to go in by the third ride - all three types. Offer a 2-link snaffle, and she doesn't care if it is copper, stainless steel, sweet iron, full-cheek, D-ring - it doesn't matter to her. She is content.
My two geldings show no preference at all.
The mildest bit is one that the horse feels comfortable with and responds well to. I think a 'harsher bit' is better than developing harsher hands because the horse ignores the 'milder' ones. But if it does require a 'harsher' bit, then there is a training issue to be work on, since any horse CAN respond to a mild bit.
The best advice I know is to borrow a bunch of bits until you find one that works well with your horse. Most of us quickly collect a bunch of bits, so it isn't hard to find one to borrow. I think I've got 6-7 bits for 3 horses, two of whom don't care what bit is used, and one of whom only wants it to be a two-piece bit.
... Energy is an admirable thing, but the energy of stupidity seldom avails much..." - On Seats and Saddles (1868), Francis Dwyer, Major of Hussars (light cavalry)