I wasn't sure that this re-written version would offer much more than was in the copy I already had, but some of their newer mouth pieces weren't in my book, and I wanted to read about them. With a purchase price of $13.95, less if you use a Riding Warehouse coupon, it was worth the risk.
I am glad I bought it. One of the things I most respect about the Myler brothers is their ongoing effort to learn more about horses and how they work. Since writing their first book, the Myler philosophy about tongue relief has evolved. They've always been huge proponents of tongue relief for horses, but now they've gone on to say that, interfering with a horse's ability to swallow impedes his overall balance and motion. Tongue relief remains the underlying principle of the Myler Bitting System. It's about understanding your horse's personality so you can give him as much tongue relief as he can handle.
They go on to explain that when they first assigned levels to their bits, they focused on a horse's training and his abilities. Could he do this or could he do that? Now, they've expanded their philosophy to focus less on the horse's ability and more on the horse's disposition. In the preface, the Mylers say A horse's disposition is perhaps the most important consideration in bit selection. I love this way of thinking.
Reading through the book prompted me to stop and reconsider what I am using on Speedy and why (a boucher with a French link mouth piece). I have some more thinking to do for sure.
That is exactly what I need for Izzy. But.
The Mylers are now recognizing this need and are finding ways to guide riders in selecting a bit and cheek pieces that take into account a horse's disposition. I bought another bit - a Kimberwick MB 33, to help him transition to the legal Level 3 bit even though he might not be the trustworthy, finished horse that typically goes in that level of bit.
I think most riders would benefit from having this book on their shelf. It's a great resource to turn to as your horse becomes more finished and his bitting needs change. I also think more of us should have a better understanding of what our bits are doing in our horses' mouths. I know that I rode with a much different frame of mind over the weekend after having read this book. Knowing how to use my bit to give Izzy the tongue relief he needs will certainly make me a better rider.
I can use all the help I can get. Let me know what you think.