Archie is very light in the bridle, very responsive, and has never needed anything more than a rider with better hands. Sorry, dude. Contact, on the rare occasions that I take it these days, is measured in ounces, not pounds.
When I first started riding him, back in 2005, he was in a simple D-ring snaffle. He went fine in it, so there was no reason to change it. When we moved to Savannah, I decided to try him in a Happy Mouth double-jointed roller, for no reason other than that I thought it would be more comfortable in his mouth. When at the vet's meet and greet back in February, the topic of bits came up and The (now very pregnant) Eventer tossed a new one in my hands and told me to try it.
So I did. And while another horse might be a better test, I found that the Kid enjoyed it and it met my need to be sympathetic to his mouth.
Let me introduce to you the Pacifier, Archie's leather bit.
|Before first use.|
|After first use.|
While, again, crippled geriatrics aren't the most reliable guinea pigs, I will say that he's done everything I've asked of him with no issues. We've been able to have the same normal transitions, the same level of flex and bend, and he does the baby dressage that I rarely ask for (um, yeah, leg yields) just fine. I never felt like I didn't have enough in his mouth for running away from wild hogs or angry canters in the woods or backing his temper-tantrum butt into trees.
|After a couple months' use.|
|You can see how it's created a natural curve from resting above his tongue (I think?)|
|i just like this photo.|