Tonight I decided I was going to try her in the hackamore for the first time. Her owner has a mechanical hackamore with a nice padded nose band. I wasn't too worried, as I was riding bareback and she's very responsive without a saddle, and I only walk bareback because I'm still working on my balance. Honestly, I was shocked at the difference. Not only was she even more responsive than normal to seat/leg aids, the slightest bit of pressure on one rein and she was turning. AND, all I had to do was sit a bit deep and say "Hoooo..." and she'd stop. I barely had time to apply pressure to the reins! Needless to say, it was a great ride, and I was really surprised at the difference in her attitude and responsiveness under the hackamore verses the bit.
My question is this: Could she have been improperly trained to accept the bit? Does she just need more miles on her with the bit? Could it be a health issue, and should I suggest to her owner that she get her teeth checked out? She's 8 years old, green broke, had a 30 day refresher course back in March, but before that I think she hadn't been worked with much at all.