My barn has acquired a 13yo QH mare that at one time was supposedly a rock star in the horsemanship, pleasure, etc. When working with her under saddle, she is extremely predisposed to rear, but is fine in hand. We had her teeth floated, back adjusted, feet done, and everything you can imagine to see if she was in pain. After multiple vet trips, it was basically determined that she went crazy from being out to pasture and had developed some sort of herd mentality where she would go nuts when removed from her pasture-mates. We've recently started her on a calming supplement that seems to be working as she is at least catchable now, I have yet to have her under saddle.
My question is, what would be the best way to re-introduce this mare into her pleasure days of old? When she's not out at pasture, she was used to just hack around on and has done some contesting, however she's so slow legged she looks like a fool
She's currently being ridden in a twisted wire wonderbit, but this isn't doing anything for her headset. I'm actually convinced she's part giraffe.
What bit would you recommend to help her flex, but still keep her mouth soft? I've considered trying a full cheek snaffle, but am looking at other options.
Also, what are your opinions about using side reins for a western horse?