Just now noticed my friend posted the pic for me the other day of Felix's very first ride. Not exactly exciting, but documents the progress none the less!
He looks like he has a lot of gear on his face - it's a breaking bridle with a rope noseband overtop of his halter, plus his lead rope which I am holding out of the frame. The rope noseband give that little extra insentive to give to pressue that some young horses have to learn, and he seems to like the basic jointed snaffle that is on the bridle.
He graduated to the "big boy bridle" after this ride, as he also loves the fat copper snaffle I stole from Heather. My go-to bits are normally either French Link or the double-jointed Sprenger KK style, but in the end it is all about what the pony wants to wear, not what the rider THINKS the pony aught to wear!
*** Before I go - A quick note on Helmets***
Don't take this photo as a good example. I wear my helmet EVERY ride, and even sometimes for ground work - but I find that die-hard helmetless riders are like smokers - they don't respond well to being nagged, and in the end it is their own health/life at risk, so I just let it be. If you value what is IN your head, wear a helmet. Yes - accidents can happen to even the best riders and horses.