I have a young arabian gelding (coming 3) who I am preparing to break but I have a bit of a problem (no pun intended ). For the past 6 months or so he has had small mouth sores, almost like cold sores or a rash, in his mouth on his gums and the bars of his mouth. He's eats and drinks without issues, but carrying a bit really irritates him. I've been working with my vet but we haven't been able to come up with any solutions or ideas even as to what the problem is exactly. So until his mouth issues are resolved I can't bit him.
He's otherwise ready to be backed. He lunges in tack and long lines in a halter (usually just a wide nylon or leather one which he respects well) and is great about voice commands, responding to pressure, and I have done loads of groundwork with him.
My experience with starting young horses has always been to have them bitted and working well in lines with the bit before backing.
My question is whether I should wait to bit him before progressing with his training, or would something like a sidepull be a good investment/ idea for him. I have limited experience with any sort of bitless bridle and wonder what kind of work I might do with him in one, or for the most part should I treat it the same as if he were bitted?
Any input is greatly appreciated