This will elicit a plethora of answers, lollol
Keep in mind I grew up in the 1960’s, on the farm, and have always been a trail rider. Bit choices were few and far between.
We started granddad’s horses to both ride and drive.
They were started with long-lining (ground driving) until granddad felt they were strong enough for my cousin and I to get on them - she weighed ~60# and I was around 80#
We long-lined them in driving bits that were plain snaffle bits. They had to learn “go, whoa, back, gee & haw” ——- yes they learned gee & haw:)
When granddad deemed them ready to have someone on their back (we started ALL of them bareback) their riding bridles were not the same as their driving bridles. The riding bridles had low port curb bits.
That’s it - low port curb bits with 4” shanks.
Low port curb bits are all I have ever put in any horse’s mouth that I have owned.
The only thing I ever changed, at the sage advice of a smart Amishman, was to change to longer swivel shanks on my Arab/Saddlebred. I raised that horse from birth and was bemoaning his head tossing at the Amish tack shop one Saturday morning.
The Amishman was so sure the longer & swivel shanked Walking Horse bit would work, he told me to bring it back if it didn’t— and I could pay for it on my next visit, if it did.
That low port bit/swivel shanks was a magic bullet for my Arab/Saddlebred. That was sometime in the early 70’s and I still have that bit and head stall.
So there’s my thought - a simple low port curb with short shanks and leave well enough alone if the horse likes it:)