A few months ago (okay, I actually I have no recollection of when, but its been all winter and into spring), I started thinking about my bits. I have a ton of D-ring snaffles. Most of them are smooth. Plus one double jointed slow twist and a waterford. I love bits, but generally use the same ones on everyone.
John started giving me a hard time about his bit, the Mylar combination bit. I don't really blame him, this bit gives me a lot more control and him a lot less, in a situation where we are arguing about control (namely, when he wants to turn and flee for home at the site of something scary). However, since my mouthy horse was refusing the bit, I decided to try something different.
I ride Remi in a regular Mylar snaffle bit. I had read quite a bit about how they were good, gentle bits to start horses with. I decided to use this bit on everyone and see what they thought.
Secret really liked the change. She's still a bit of a draftee about working - she would rather be eating, but she appreciated the gentler bit (a regular snaffle can have a bit of a nutcracker effect).
John didn't mind the bit. I did a lot of schooling transitions with him, facing his fears and getting him to calmly face the things that startle him. I had also worked on his issue about racing for home. My thought was, if I fix the behavioral issues, I won't need the combination bit (its the same Mylar snaffle, but with an added noseband that puts pressure on his nose if I put pressure on the reins).
A few weeks ago, he started resisting taking the Mylar snaffle. He will take it, but he used to grab for the bit, now I have to ask. I decided to switch him back to his smooth D-ring snaffle. He's a happy horse again.