For starters, how does everyone like the new look?! My amazing friend has been helping me on the back end of the site and created the new beautiful layout. Snazzy right?
As we all know, the summer heat is upon us. Thankfully, my work schedule allows me to ride in the evening hours that are actually quite comfortable. Still hot of course, but usually not too bad with a slight breeze. MM (who owns Scottie) usually meets me at the barn and we enjoy a good hack together. Last night she rode one of her training horses (Cas) while I worked Rio.
I played with a slightly different bit last night, and it seemed to work ok for Rio. I currently have him in a Mikmar D ring with lozenge. It seems to work fine, but is pretty heavy and thick. With his gaping mouth problem, I am open to trying different bits to see if we can make him more comfy. A few people have suggested something a bit thinner, and not so heavy on the tongue. I borrowed one of MM’s bits last night to try out, a Myler D ring with the copper inlays and center roller.
He seemed to like it ok, but I didn’t notice a big difference. I do think he was a bit steadier so I am going to give it another try during my jump lesson tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, I think Rio’s mouth gaping and tucking of the head are habit at this point, and nothing is going to magically fix it except for time.
During our ride we focused on the usual suspects- tempo within the gait (slowing the trot a hair), insisting that Rio carry his own step, and focusing on not letting him drop behind the bridle. He wants to soooo bad at the canter, I don’t even touch the reins most of the time. It’s going to take a lot of time to encourage him to accept real contact in the canter work and carry his own step behind.
If you watch the video, you will see what I mean. I swear I am not trying to do anything to get his to lower his head lol! I’m thinking about trying to keep it up but lifting a hair with my reins and putting my leg on to get him to step under more. I can see some glimpses here and there, but I also see him evading a LOT still.
He was really great though, his trot work is improving and we had some lovely leg yields. Improving every ride! Now prepare yourself for lots of pics!
I hate that he’s behind the vertical in some of the pics, as that is certainly not our intention. Again, baby steps!
After our ride, once the ponies were tucked away, we headed to the air conditioned (thankfully!) lounge to talk horses and enjoy a glass of bubbles! Definitely not a bad way to spend the evening.
Huge thanks to MM for videoing- it is always SO HELPFUL to see videos of my riding, really helps me with the bigger picture.