Just wanted to quickly give my input on the bit/no bit question. I've been here for over a year and had stopped riding my horse in a bit a few months before I joined. I did not know all the reasons not to use bits at the time, I just thought at the time, even though I never rode with contact any more, that my seat and my hands were not good enough in all riding situations to never pull on the reins accidentely. I also wanted to prevent a situation where I dropped the reins and my horse would step on them, possibly severely injuring her mouth. This can happen to riders at any level.
I think I still don't understand all the reasons not to use bits and don't have enough scientific knowledge to always sort through what is opinion and what is fact. So I decided to err on the side of caution. As long as I don't see any good reason to use a bit again I won't use one. My horse is getting lighter and softer the longer I ride with a halter-type bitless bridle and the better I get. Connection happens through using my seat, through riding with intent and through positive reinforcement.
I know from personal experience dental fillings, that metal in the mouth can have severe consequences because some of that metal will get into the bloodstream.
When I rode with a bit without contact, draped rein, my horse showed no negative reaction. She eagerly took the bit because it had become a cue for her that she would get to go for a trail ride and enjoy lush grass as part of that. She never swished her tail or tensed up that I noticed when I rode her with a bit either but of course I could have missed it. Either way, I have not seen a reason for using a bit after about 18 months of not using one, quite the opposite, the gentler the tools that I have used the more softness and lightness my horse has offered to me. I hope to get to the point where I can ride bridle less like some people here do. To me what I do with my horse is basically just having fun together, riding and non-riding.
It sounds like you found a very open-minded instructor who will allow you to explore a relationship with horses, not just teach you how to ride.