Western Dressage Bits
Hello all! I'm new here and mostly joined to read up on discussions about WD and ranch riding. My horses are both 18 years old and have gone in snaffles/halters/bridleless most of the time besides when prepping for shows where they'd have to ride in a curb.
I have one who HATES curb bits - I spent years trying everything I could find until I finally coughed up the money for a Myler MB33. She tolerates it far better than any other curb, though I think a MB33WL would be better. I have since learned that she has a very large tongue and I suspect this has been part of her difficulty - she likes space for her tongue but doesn't like narrow/high ports and still enjoys some independent side movement.
My other is a pretty easygoing girl and has never needed a lot of bit, but of course we couldn't show in a snaffle/bosal past age 5. She showed in a "futurity" bit which was a low port and has also been ridden in a Tom Thumb. She hates correction mouthpieces (goes from being a laid back horse to feeling very fussy) so I was surprised she also goes pretty well in the Myler MB33. She has a tendency to get behind the vertical (always has, even on loose reins in a plain snaffle) and this is something I definitely want to work on so I feel I need a bit that is comfortable and encourages her to take contact.
Between graduate school and other things I haven't ridden more than occasionally for the past 5 years. They are out of shape, I'm out of shape, and we have a lot of work to do! I've started back in a smooth, fixed O snaffle but I'm considering other options. I will probably begin showing next spring in a snaffle rather than a curb, so I'm wondering if it would be worth trying the Myler MB33WL D or eggbutt on them - which I believe is WDAA legal? The other options would be the MB04 or MB06, though neither provides as much tongue relief. Have you ridden in either of these bits?
I've already seen a lot of debate on it - but would I be better off just riding two handed in a curb bit? (Such as the MB33.) They both know how to neck rein and can be ridden one handed, but at this point definitely need a little support for certain maneuvers still which is why I'm leaning toward snaffle/two handed.
I'm also open to bit suggestions other than Mylers - especially if it saves a bit of money! I don't have to use the same bit on both if I can find something each horse goes best in, but I have already ruled out corrections and Tom Thumbs. I may or may not still have the old low port futurity bit laying around, but it didn't have as much flexibility or side movement so I feel it would be better to save it for later.