Essentially the difference appears to be that to steer in a curb bit, you lift your hand, put one leg on, and take the other leg completely off the horse so you are pushing him into an empty space. Then you drop your hand again once the horse starts going in the direction you want.
Of course Lena, the lesson horse mare I was riding, quickly figured out how green I was to all of this and took it upon herself to help me practice this new kind of steering by ducking in, stopping at the gate, and cutting corners -_- I guess that is why she is a lesson pony!
I had a lot of trouble getting the correct canter lead since they have been trained to canter from a squeeze with two legs, rather than bending to the inside and then asking with the outside leg. She was grumpy in general and since I had been fumbling with the new style of steering, she was ducking in especially as we attempted the canter
But that wasn't really the main event...at the end of my lesson, I got to try some spins on a horse with the special sliding shoes.
Don't worry, I won't be turning to the dark side more than occasionally...this reining farm is 1.5 hours away from me. And I love my boy's big trot and his valiant effort at jumping!