Yeah, it's official. Miles does not want any metal in his mouth (or rubber or plastic, tried those once upon a time, too) ever.
It's almost a relief, because now I can give up. Yes, I know there are other bits out there (my god there are thousands of different bits), but I feel like we've tried enough where I can say I fought the good fight. The latest was the Myler Level 3 Ported D Snaffle with Hooks, which I put on him this week, just in the barn. He HATED it. Gaping mouth, twisty-neck, the whole deal-and he was just standing there. Fair's fair, though, and I thought since it's been so long since he's worn any bit at all (at least 5 months) I would try it in the arena as well.
So, today, lunging to the left, I was cautiously optimistic. There was some mouth gaping, but he seemed more...playful and curious about the bit than uncomfortable. To the right, however, the gaping became GAPING, and his neck literally looked like it was a separate animal from the rest of him. I took a shot in the dark and got on him, since he was acting funny but not stupid or dangerous. No no no, he said. Poor boy just couldn't concentrate on anything but the metal in his mouth. He tried to do what I asked (basically we just walked and trotted around the outside of the arena-no circles, and I kept the reins very long so there was minimal contact), but he was getting stressed out and after 10 minutes I said eff this business. I swapped the bit for his good ol' padded hackamore, climbed back on, and after some initial tense trot and a little side step (hey, did I mention the snow was sliding off the roof of the arena and crashing to the ground during all this?) he was back to my golden boy.
I don't want to go through that again. He's made his feelings quite clear, and I actually feel bad for even asking him to try this One Last Maybe Majik Bit. Now, at least we can get on with experimenting with various bit-less options, which I think will be way more fun:)
Also, if anyone is looking for a 5.5" Myler Ported Barrel Dee with Hooks, Level 3, I've got it listed on Tack Trader for 85 bucks negotiable, free shipping, or a possible trade for a bit-less bridle. I might even give the special Miles On Miles Reader Discount if you ask:) In fact, I definitely will. Happy Sunday everyone~