I also trail ride a lot.
I'd like to do hunter under saddle and western pleasure so I use both tack depending on my mood.
I only ride my horse in a sweet iron/copper inlay dee ring snaffle becuase he is a baby yet (three years old).
I also like to ride with freinds, becuase it lightens things up and keeps both of us in good spirits. We usually laugh and tell each other what stipud things are horses are doing lately.
My freind and I are night and day; I like to do the pleasurse classes, nice and slow plus many of times I still get down about my riding, thinking I'm not doing a good job and what not. My freind is a dare devil and loves speed, she does a lot od cow and gaming things and she's always positive about her abilities so she encourages me to let loose and run eveyr now and again and I remind her of the importance of collection and training
When I'm in the arena I never ride on the rail, I try to do figure 8's, tons of circles, and as many patterns and obsticals as I can think up.
When I'm all done for the day my horse LOVES a nice cool shower (just water, when its warm enough of course). I think it keeps him shiny, his coat healthy, and he enjoys it. After his shower, I let him get a good roll in the mud or the black arena sand, then he is really happy!