I have been riding my 19 yr old horse in a Tom Thumb bit from when I got him as a 5yr old until now. I did not ride for several years as his companion was too arthritic to be ridden in his later years. It upset the older horse if we took the younger one out so we just didn't ride. The older horse passed away in the fall, so we have started riding again. This horse is a dream horse. After not being ridden for several years I can just get on and he is the same, sane, calm horse he always was. It kills me that I have been riding him in a bit that is considered harsh. This is the bit that the previous ownwers had ridden him in and I was told it was a mild bit. I have just purchased another horse that is pretty green, but is calm and quiet also. I saw the bit she had been ridden in and thought it was a Tom Thumb, but now wonder if it was another kind of saffle. I DO NOT WANT TO RIDE MY HORSES IN A BIT THAT WILL HURT THEM. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEAS ON THE TYPE OF BIT I SHOULD BE USING. We only do short trail rides. I do not consider myself a good rider, but I do try to have soft quiet hands.
Also how hard would it be to learn to use a bitless briddle and to teach my horses to use one. ANY ADVICE IS GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!