I am going to use my past two rides on my horse Stevie to help ad insight to where I am coming from...Regardless of the horse I ride, I always try to be light and maintain the softest feel possible, but being that I am only a mere 120lbs and 5'4" and horse are a great deal larger, heavier and stronger than I there comes a time and a place where I can be overpowered. You can say all you want, you shouldn't need a bit to get the job done, and I am well aware, I have ridden horses that can go bridleless and I have also attempted bridleless on my now older gelding (and failed horribly in an epic gallop around an indoor for a half hour straight until he was tired enough I could do a flying dismount without getting myself killed.....) but I do lots of work with babies and green horses and if you can give me the name and number of a trainer that can go bridle less on these horses please let me know so I can learn (and I am being serious with that!)
Back to the real story here though. Yesterdays ride was horrendous, and that is me not being critical, it felt like Steve had a meltdown from two days off, a bit of a chill in the air, and just being a young boy....long story short, little was accomplished and I was getting pulled out of the tack and run away with, and managed to eek my way out of a broken nose from a head flying up in every transition...wreck. SO I thought of what I could use to help....so into my tack room digging for what might work....I grabbed my wonderbit and a roll of vetwrap and turned my plain snaffle into a very soft, very large "rubber" wonderbit....some might say "wow that is harsh" but really it's softer than a rubber, have you ever squeezed a roll of vet wrap? I tried this today and the difference was astonishing....it was just enough "leverage" to so speak to get the work I wanted while maintaining a cool, calm horse that was not fretting over my entire body being thrown into transitions as I got galloped away with.
This is my example of a soft bit being "harsh" and a "harsh" bit being soft - The plain happy mouth was not enough bit for me and this horse making what I had to do to save ourselves, harsh. The big movements made the horse frantic, so in trying to be soft and nice I had a bad training session, not that what I was doing was wrong but it was bad training. With the bit swap, I was able to get done what I needed without a large fuss, and the result was a calmer and happier horse. I might be using a "big bit" but it was good training (no frantic running away, avoiding the aids or bashing my face with his....). This is not to say Stevie will live in this bit forever, but for the time when our transitions are in training and he needs GOOD training to perfect them, this might be what we use, or we might switch it up.
The big point here is, it's probably good to think about the whole picture, the horse and rider as a pair, their dynamic and how they get along. It might not be what YOU consider a good/nice/easy/etc. but it might end up being the good/nice/easy way to accomplish the desired result. Also, the topic opens the floor to discussion which is always fun!