She is determined for him to be the perfect horse but is going about it the wrong way. Because she has shown her trainers well-trained dressage horse, she feels her horse must instantly have an amazing headset as well. So she see saws on the curb bit and once his head is down there she holds it there and there is no give whatsoever. His mouth used to constantly gape open but she just added a tight noseband to fix that. Her gelding is a little stiff on one of his leads so she will canter him in figure 8s and just ride him hard with little to no breaks. He comes out of the ring exhausted and red eyed. She claims she needs all of this stuff to "control" him. Now my horse used to be ridden in most of that stuff as well. When I started riding her I used it for a little while but found most of it unnecessary so I slowly weaned us off all of it. A year later and my mare can be ridden comfortably in a halter, hackamore, or plain snaffle bridle. I don't need spurs or a crop to make her move at all, though I do use nub spurs to give more precise aids when we do dressage. She responds very well and is a much happier horse. My point is you don't need all of that stuff to control a horse.
The problem with my friend is that she does not like to be told that she is wrong and is a little controlling sometimes. Though, to be fair, her mother is like that too so... It kills me to see her do that to her little gelding. He is a sweet boy and you can tell he is trying his hardest. I want to say something to her about it but I don't want to sound like Im being rude, annoying, or a know it all. I've tried to give her subtle hints that maybe there is a better way to do things but I don't think she gets them. Her trainer doesn't say anything to her about it and if she does my friend sure doesn't listen. What should I do? Should I talk to her about it or just keep quiet?