Here's a quick recap:
- We started with an eggbutt with a lozenge mouthpiece. That worked well, until it didn't. He got heavy and started flat out bolting through my aids. Ultimately, he refused to take the bit at all.
- Theory: too much tongue pressure.
- I switched him to the Myler correction bit with Kimberwick cheeks. He improved almost immediately. I used that bit for 5 or 6 months and then switched to the Myler 33 mouth piece.
- Theory: tongue relief was what he needed.
- The 33 mouth piece offers more tongue relief than the correctional port. Izzy has done equally well in it. It gives me excellent control while still encouraging him to take contact.
- I've been using the bottom rein connectors which provide a very small amount of leverage.
- Theory: he understands leverage and likes the tongue relief.
- Since that was going so well, I moved my reins to the upper rein position. This turns the bit into a snaffle which uses direct rein action instead of leverage. I tried it for a week, but it was a fail. Izzy got really heavy in my hand and started running through my aids (again). The moment I moved my reins back down, all he wanted to do was stretch.
- Theory: he didn't like the way the bit tilted in his mouth.
Out of the blue, I saw a Myler Bitting Assistant thing pop up on my Facebook feed. You simply fill out the small questionnaire, and one of the Myler brothers will call or email you (your choice) with advice on which bit would be best for your horse.
I know I am getting closer and closer to that legal bit. And if nothing else, I am getting an excellent education in bits!