Advice on training and bitting my new mare
I have recently acquired a new horse. She was being boarded at the place I take lessons. The owner put here out there in January and had not paid board since. So, I got her for free and will be moving her out to my place soon. You can see pictures of her on my other thread in the Horse and Rider Critique section. I am a English rider and would like to do some low level dressage and maybe hunters. My goal is that she can be a really quite horse that if I want to just ride with a friend without much riding experience she can be that horse.
She is a small paint of unknown breeding. She is around 14 hands maybe a little bigger (so really a pony) and 6 years old. All I know about here training is that she was broke in a high ported long shanked western curb and that apparently the owner put kids on her. She does not tie, just moves all around and gets all worked up. I know how to fix that. I have been grooming and tacking her up in her stall, but am going to start to work on being in cross ties today.
My trainer said that for the first couple of rides we should use a kemberwicke with a low port, since she has had horses that were broke in a curb like that run out on her when you put them in a snaffle. She is very willing and a quick study. She is also very calm and relaxed for the most part, so I am thinking of putting her in a snaffle next time I work with her. I really feel like she is overbitted in a curb.
When I ride her the first time I just walked and worked on steering. I have been ridding her on a really lose open rain, just like you would on a green horse. I have been using my seat to ask for down transitions and very little with the rains. When I asked for the trot she tensed up and shot her head straight up, I kept my rains real lose and after a while she did relax a bit. She is a bit barn sour, but has been getting better and when I rode her last night after a while walked right by the gate without hesitation.
What is your advice on the bit to use? I have a french link dee and a plain jointed eggbutt on hand.