I think one of the things I like most about being a new horse person is that I don't know any of the rules. That's gotten us in trouble on occasion, but on the other hand, it's gotten us out of trouble, too. "Oh, they don't know any better."
I have owned a horse long enough to figure out that most everyone has their right way of doing things, their specific steps to follow, their opinion of what event you should do with your horse, you name it. (No events, thanks, we just want to ride and enjoy her.)
It's hard to listen to all of the advice and filter out something that makes sense to you and for your horse, but I do try to pay attention to what people say as we do different things with Lena. Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't, but it's part of the fun of figuring out our particular horse.
We want to get her a hackamore to see if she is more or less responsive - or just different - if we remove the bit. Not a mechanical one, just the simple and traditional bosul. I'm anticipating some grief - not necessarily from Lena, either - but I also know that she was trained with one, as are all the Slide horses - many of whom still get ridden regularly with just the hackamore. We do have to have one of her front teeth pulled, so maybe that can be our excuse. Either that, or people will just chalk it up to another "silly new horse people" stunt.