I have tried several different things with Riley. This past month I've been using a snaffle with a german martingale to help Riley and I figure out how to get him into the proper frame and to learn to carry his head w/out me lugging on him. He's coming along nicely, moving correctly and I'm not holding him.
I am ready to switch to the port but not completely. He has had a ton of different bits in his mouth and responds to just about anything and he has used a port. I don't think he "likes" a solid port, he seems to respond better to the one that is broken, with the port in the middle and then the sides can move...I can't find a picture of it but...
Here is what I have for show:
He doesn't hate it but I do get nervous and while at home my hands are very soft, at show I am nearly positive that I turn into the incredible hulk and get pretty rough. I am working really hard to get past it, I am certain it is a nerves thing that I must conquer.
I was thinking something more like this:
See how it is not solid? Is that milder than the above bit? I want a bit that has enough port to get what I need w/ little rein contact but that is mild enough to overcome my incredible hulk tendencys. Does that make sense?
Also, can someone - in elementary school terms - help me to UNDERSTAND how a port bit and the shanks work so that I can use it better?