It's here! I paid the $4 for expedited shipping so I wouldn't have to wait too long to find out if this bit will actually work. No, it's not the JP Korsteel (though the site led me to believe it was through the description and URL address), and it came with a giant "Made in China" sticker. I think I might write a complaint about mis-advertising, because they copied and pasted the description for the JP Korsteel, but the links aren't even curved like JPK's. However, it does seem to be something that would work given my issues, and I paid about $25 for it. I did need a few other things for blanket repair, so I felt I got a decent deal. The sides are very small with a nice, big copper peanut. The holes are big enough that it can really bend any direction to bend with his mouth. I don't think there's any opportunity for it to be pinching. I'm going to test it out this afternoon - I'm really excited! Any suggestions for what I should do to evaluate whether this bit will work or not? Should I go ahead and try riding if he looks like he's doing fine?
The issues before were:
1) with a single-jointed snaffle - almost instantly pulling back because, when it rotated downward with gravity as all snaffles do, the joint was poking the top of his mouth (I believe), so I was having problems before I even touched the reins. Then, when I touched the reins, things became a fight because he was so uncomfortable.
2) with a ported curb bit - he was fine with no pressure because the port was laying flat on his tongue. However, when I picked up the reins, even with minimal contact causing the bit to rotate slightly, the port hit the roof of his mouth, so he started gaping, but didn't fight it. Now that I think of it, I believe he was better behaved because the fixed port could only rise so far to hit the roof of his mouth and was smooth and round, rather than a pointed joint. He wasn't grinding his teeth anymore nor fighting and actually responded pretty well, but he still had a gaped mouth.
The pattern seems to fit that my issue is just the bit coming up and hitting the roof of his mouth, especially since I got the same reaction when I stuck my finger in his mouth and barely poked the roof, and, though he seemed fine when I just let my fingers lay flat on his tongue, I still was making a lot of contact across the roof of his mouth because it's so low.
Given that the peanut is so wide and round, and that I don't think it'll rise up to the roof of his mouth but rather lay on his tongue and the sides will come down when pressure is added, I really have high hopes for this bit.
Read more: http://www.horseforum.com/horse-tack-equipment/bit-irritation-148001/page4/#ixzz2J3ErgPWn