Let me preface this by saying that bits are not my forte – I know a good bit about the ones I’ve personally used with my barrel racers and jumpers, and would love to learn more, but I’m a bit in the dark when faced with something new.
I’ve just started working with a horse whose owner has been riding him in a junior cowhorse bit. He’s a bit high strung, very high energy, and has a long way to go before he settles, learns to steer properly, and quit throwing tantrums where he throws his head in the air, bolts, and then tries to buck his rider into a fence. The upsides are that he’s incredibly responsive from the ground and moves like a dream – his bucks feel like another horse’s lope.
Personally, I’ve found that even as a pretty light-handed rider, curb bits tend to get a horse like him even more riled up, and my instinct is to start with some form of snaffle bit that will still give me some pretty serious brakes if i need them, such as a dr. bristol (i’m not sure of the western equivalent). What are y’all’s thoughts regarding bitting him? He’s currently a western horse, and although I’d like to see how he handles jumping in the future i prefer to work in a nice secure barrel saddle until we get past the antics.