"The Pee Wee Horse Bit is designed to give you maximum control while being gentle and acceptable to the horse."
This is a total contradictio in termino to my knowledge. It is always the other way around, the less control for the human, the kinder to the horse (that is why I ride with a soft bitless bridle and/or cordeo in the first place). Control by any tool on any one is always based on pain or movement restriction.
Point very well taken. There is and never will be anything put in the horse's mouth soft or hard that is "gentle," from the horse's point of view or mine, and I trust yours as well. It is for force, and logically force through pain since we are no match for the horse in a straight on tug of war.
Is it in the law that you are not insured without bit?
I personally find that very hard to believe.
Best to find out if that is true.
Your right to have disbelief. Insurance companies set the rules. However, I doubt that this is in the policy at all. The language is more general than that. I carry a great deal of liability insurance as a riding instructor and there is not a thing about my methods, equipment, etc. Nothing.
The barn is making that up to control the riders' use of equipment to support their own belief in the horse as a intractable obstinate animal that will not comply with out force and pain or the threat of same. They will not comply, I'd bet, with any request to provide proof, and will simply refuse to serve the person coming to ride. Though a challenge would be nice to present.
The barn I teach at has wonderful policies in place. While not bitless the owner herself rides all the time without a bit using a simple soft headstall. She does on occasion ride with a bit. I do wish she wouldn't be she has no rule that others cannot ride bitless or even without bridle if they wish. It's wonderful for the children to play about and experience these gentler ways with their horses, though we are still a very orthodox horseworld here and in the show ring they must use constraints on the horse's head in some way. Sad.
Perhaps Dr. Cook has information on that subject or simply call some insurance companies. I think, as you are renting the horse, you as a customer deside whether you ride with bit or not.
That's how we wish they were but they are not. As the owner of the horse and premises they decide how their horses are ridden. And with what equipment.
My BO, when I first started teaching there insisted, now get this, that her horse (a private student) be ridden ONLY with a halter, no bit, and no spurs, and no whips or crops or bats. Not even a stick for groundwork. Could have kissed her. This is a strong minded anglo arabian X too. But responds very nicely to minimal head constraint. He'll carry a bit but he does not like it at all. A teeth clencher if you try to put on on him, and once on if you do not have the stillest hands in the world he'll let you know most certainly - banging your knee into the school wall, carrying his nose up, dragging his hind quarters, hollow back, forehand driving into the ground - got to love him. What a teacher. Put the halter on and he is a different horse entirely. Sweet soft collected trot, or suspended aerial extended trot, a most smooth collected canter, lovely lifted forehand.
Makes him very difficult to show in our local events. Which of course tickles me. Wish though he didn't have to suffer for the folks that insist on bits.
Concerning the 'ideal bit'; this depends so much on every horse, the shape of his mouth and the rider. There is no telling of curb or snaffle is better without knowing the individual situation.
Hope it's helpful
As you know I'm horribly opinionated on this issue, even aside from my own use of the classical hackamore. I consider only one bit actually functional in the manner called for by so called experts on the bit.
It has no leverage, and no pinching of the jawbone from each side, and no digging of the joint into the roof of the mouth. It's the barrel center snaffle ... this one:
The barrel restricts the folding action of the bars thus the roof of the mouth is spared as are the jaw bone on each side. I'll not give a name brand as I most decidedly do NOT consider this humane just because it is capable of less damage than other snaffles and curb bits - it is simply a little less harsh, but still, harsh enough on its own.
If for some strange reason I had to ride using a bit this is the one I would use, but thankfully no such strange condition exists for me. I don't compete. I don't train or even do evaluation rides on other people's horses unless they let me use my favorite headgear. If they insist I ride with a bit, I don't ride. I turn down the fee and the contact.
Those that have seen me ride such horses, known for bolting, running away, bucking, etc. find out rather quickly their horse doesn't do that with me, or only momentarily as I ask them to comply with me in a new way - gently.
People that come to me with problem horses often are showing me that while they ride reasonably well they do not understand the fear that comes from the bit. I insist they ride with my hackamore or less if they wish. In every instance, whether I ride, or they ride under my direction they are always stunned at the change in the horse for the better.
So then, either the orthodox horseworld changes or I change. LOL
Which do you think I insist on and intend helping happen?
More and more people are discovering that less is more in headgear for the horse. I like that.
I preach it.