Quick facts on Red:
-He is NOT a trail bred horse. He is a show bred horse. He's about as sure footed as someone with two left feet. His toes are also starting looking suspiciously long, but farriers coming out in about a week so no problems there. He's not 'OMG ' long he's more 'Trim t-minus two weeks!' long. Getting close
-He has had 60 days at the trainers, and we've had 3 falls in the last 2 months or so.
First fall occurred when my saddle broke. We had some minor bucking while mounting afterwards, but that's long gone now.
Second fall occurred when he spooked going under some tree branches and (lord forbid) they touched him. I decided that to dismount was the best option. He finished his spook, stopped, and waited for me.
Third fall occurred today, he stepped into a invisible hole (literally, invisible until your tripping over it) and stumbled hard. My left rein came off the clip attaching it to the bit when he just about face planted. He then did a small rear but did fling his head back. I got whacked in the face by one large horse head and did the graceful Flying Dismount. He shied away from me, stopped, and waited. We where riding close to a rather thorny tree, and I think he got poked in the face (hence the rear).
I did get back on the second and third time, and he is always 100%, like nothing ever happened. He does neck rein and work off those legs beautifully.
-He rides in a medium-port, medium curved shank curb bit with a flat chain. He neck reins and works off leg cues. Very, very, rarely do I have to actually engage the bit.
-I ride with single reins, and soft rowel spurs. I do not go off and poke him with them unless he does one of his patented 'Stop!' moments. He will stop dead in the water if he has to poop, or thinks he has to poop. This requires a slightly firmer 'Go Please' then normal.
-At the moment, we are riding in an English saddle. I love it to pieces.
-He is small mouthed. I do NOT want to ride him in a hackamore.
-He does not take well to excessive tongue pressure. I put him in a VERY gentle mullen and he put his tongue over it, around it, did gymnastics, etc. The bit he's riding in now better fits the shape of the upper tongue, with a gently sloping port.
So! To snaffle or not to snaffle? The snaffle would give me the 'feel' that the curb does not, I'm just not sure how this small-mouthed boy would respond. I only have a single-jointed eggbutt (copper) at the moment. No nice lozenge or anything
Like I said, I do *not* want to ride him in a hackamore. He would like a hackamore about as much as me swinging by his tail.