Instead of having him spit the bit out, you open his mouth & lower the bit using the top of the headstall. Reverse that for bridling.
How did he ride not lunging first compared to lunging?
I meant to respond to this sooner. The last two times I've ridden him was without lunging and he did fine, however I think lunging him before a ride isn't a bad idea either because it gets a tiny bit of speed out of him.
We went on a ride on Tuesday, usually I only ride with my instructor, but another boarder came with us, and it happened to be with a horse my horse is very comfortable with. He really was much less spooky on this ride, and I'm wondering if it had anything to do with having Doc (his buddy) with him. He did well during that ride, though he did want to "go" which when I lunge him first, he has less of. I personally enjoy a faster walk/trot, but the pace we were going (had to ride on the road a bit) was at a steady walk, and of course I had to make sure he knew he could only go if I told him to.
On the bit issue, my instructor has been the one who has been working with bridling him for me, just because she's been through this before and has a lot less of a chance of accidentally clacking his teeth than I do. Tuesday he was a lot less fussy, and only did one head toss before she got her thumb into his mouth and massaged/tickled/whathaveyou his gums/bars and he opened and took the bit. He didn't toss his head afterward, and we were able to calmly (on his part) buckle the bridle :)
When it came time for me to take the bridle off, he was probably the most calm with un-bridling than he has been, and I was able to safely get the bit out of his mouth without hitting his teeth. I'm also wondering if that bit is heavier than what he needs (5", eggbutt snaffle with copper bars, but no idea the brand or model)... I'd like to keep him in an eggbutt snaffle but I'm wondering if one slightly lighter weight in the bars would be a bit better for him.
As for the tying, I've still just been sliding the rope once through a regular tie ring. Right now it's just because every time I've gone to the barn, there have been kids there and I really don't want to risk him having a freak out with kids around. I do plan to do a single tie with the breaker ties again because I do like the results those breaker ties were yielding, and as was mentioned earlier, you can adjust the tension.
I did however, just buy 3 new books to take to the barn with me to sit there while he stands tied, it's just been way too cold to do it for long lol.
If this method doesn't work, I'll try something else that has been mentioned. But really hoping this works. lol.