Trainer came out today to work with us in the new bit. I had been slowly getting him acquainted over the last few days doing our usual riding exercises both in and out of the ring.
Started establishing dressage level contact! He was more receptive to the prospect of the contact with the new bit than before and I could actually feel his back change as he stepped and engaged his hind end pushing up into my hands.
We'll see how we continue but he was much more malliable than before, and much more receptive in the shoulders. Something else I noticed was that I have much more difficult time engaging his mouth with my left hand versus my right, so I will have to keep that in mind!
I said that it felt like "Someone removed the cotton from his ears" or that "The static was no longer muffling our communication."
After a great dressage lesson we moved to jumping on bending lines. He perked up majorly and tried to take off running at mach 5 over the first few jumps. A quick discipline from me and suddenly we were back to engaging and being variable in our stride.
So little things that should lead to much bigger improvements! Very happy about today!