I've never ridden in anything but a snaffle. I agree with you though. Riding with a harsh bit, if the horse doesn't need it, just makes the horse resist more.
I take that back.. I rode Guns in a tom thumb for the first time on the trail. The reason being I knew how he would act and I wanted a little more control for the first time. Once he gets more used to riding on the trails I will hopefully change it back.