Anyway, I've read through the threads on bits, and even tried googling such things as "bits for beginners" and "what bit for my horse?" and I can honestly say... I'm still confused.
Right now I'm using a Wonderbits on both my western and english bridles for my TWH gelding. They were recommended to me by someone who knows FAR more about horses than I do, so I took that person's advice.
Among the many things I read while perusing the threads and google results was that Wonderbits are rough and only serve as a substitute for real training.
That got me thinking. If there's even the slightest chance that I could be hurting Smoke's mouth, I'd feel terrible. In addition to that, I really do want to communicate with my horse, not just yank him around by his face. What's more is I know he wouldn't protest, because he's just not like that. He's so quiet and gentle. I've been thinking back on our rides to see if perhaps he was sending me any signals that he was uncomfortable, but I can think of none.
I direct rein and would characterize myself as medium-handed. I have both a western and flat saddle that I use, and so far I've only done trail riding. I hope to do some local shows with him this spring and summer, just for fun...
Sorry, I digress. My question is: What bits would you recommend for a calm trail and possible show gelding, who is gaited, and whose rider is medium-handed? Why would you choose those? How do these bits effect his movement, and why do they function that way?
Okay, that's more than one question... Thanks in advance for any input!