We have many different snaffles, but the one that gets hung on a colt for the first time is an old snaffle that looks like we dug it out of the stock tank. They love that old bit! Colts always mouth a bit quite a bit the first few times they have one in anyhow, but they seem to really slobber with that one.
Ive been using a borrowed snaffle bit. Its very old and very rusted. I had no problems with it. On the previous mare I was using, nor on my mare I just bought. I've been using it on both horses for about 6 months now.
I've since stopped using it, b/c im trying out a couple of different styles. But the rust seemed to matter not to either one of um. They both excepted the bit very readily.
All of my hand-made bits are 'sweet iron' and are all rusty. I do not leave them out, so they do not get 'flaky' or 'crusty', but they are all dark rust color. I prefer them to any other bits I have ever used.
I hate stainless, will not use aluminum, and like sweet iron greatly over copper or copper inlaid.
Is anyone here old enough to remember what a 'sulky rake' is? They are the old horse-drawn hay rakes that drag hay up into piles so it could be put in a loose stack with a horse-drawn 'buck-rake'.
Two of the best bit makers I know would rather use the iron rake teeth of old sulky rakes than any other 'mild steel' that they can buy to make the mouth-pieces from for a bit.