Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bitless Bridle Ride

In our continuing search for a bit that will work with Rosemary, Mom decided to ride her bitless. After reading about the term "On the Bit" in an article, she found out that most horses in the past were ridden in a caveson or hackamore until they reached a confident level before the bit was introduced. This was to preserve a sensitive mouth. I wish you could compete bitless in dressage. Anyway I rode her the other night with the bitless bridle. She is softer and less defensive without a bit. Similar to what I found when ridding her with the HS duo, she wants to run through the front end. Halting and downward transitions are not as quick. We need more rides with the bridle to see if she will listen to my seat and aids eventually. As the work progressed, Rosemary felt heavy in my hands. Not necessarily on the forehand, but a definite weight like she was using the noseband to hold her head up. Considering she used to invert constantly, I will take this response. I just add leg and ask her to move on from behind. Fortunately, I do not see a decrease in maneuverability.
She says "Weird"

While I play with the bitless, we will still be looking for a bit to suit her. Peggy found a test bit option out of Dressage Extensions where you pay shipping and $16 to trial a bit for two weeks. If you decide to keep the bit, the trial cost comes out of the bit price. Some of the bits mention being designed for horses that lean onto the bit, but are too sensitive for a tougher bit. These bits take the pressure off the sensitive sides of the tongue and put it on the center instead. It kind of describes what Rosemary needs. I just need to decide if paying $150 for a bit will be doable if she likes it.
Roscoe has moved from the dog bone to a Happy Mouth eggbutt mullen which is slimmer and seems to fit his mouth better. It is slightly too long though, so I am looking for bits for him too. He is pleasing me with his continued growth in learning contact while maintaining his rhythm.
And not to be forgotten, Comrade is actually doing some great trot work. He just needs to build back the muscle he lost during his lame times last year. That lack shows in his canter work. We do have two leads though, which you know is a battle sometimes. Comrade actually was walked around by our new Barn Rat (let me steal Jen's term). She has some ride time, but definitely is green. He took care of her though and was ready to work when I got off of Rosemary.
BR is a work in progress and a little hard to get used to having around. That extra set of hands kind of messes up my routine. So far we keep her to the simple tasks of picking manure or brushing the horses. Peggy straight up told her that riding was not a given, but hard work was. BR was surprised by how heavy hay bales were, but she still tried to help put them in the stall. Maybe once she gets the hang of the work, we all will ride more. I can hope right?

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