I recently purchased my first horse. This is my dream come true. Rio had 120 days training under saddle and was being ridden with a German martingale and a half-breed bridle (as explained by the owner/trainer) I believe the bridle is also called a side pull? I have been riding her with a tom thumb bit and regular western bridle. The owner of the barn I board her at shows and gives lessons, she recomends I get a bit with a twisted mouth and longer shanks. She also recomends a fork for my reins. I haven't purchased anything yet because I have found faults in some of her other advise and would like to research my choices. I am having trouble keeping Rio's head down consistently and she spooks occasionally at noises in the bushes around the riding arena. I would like to know if I should follow her advice or try something different. I have never shown, so this is something Rio and I are working towards together. I do not want to hurt her or myself.