Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fire Breathing Dragon

Yesterday was actually a really good ride. The arena was really busy though, there were three other horses, one lady working on an indiscernible reining pattern (who knows where she was going to go next!), one girl was working on her 4-H pattern (I think) and the other girl and I were working on the rail, constantly trying to dodge the other horses. Yikes. Sometimes I feel like I'm riding this:

No, really.

I'm not joking. Jetta must be in heat or something because she's usually pretty ok with other horses. Yesterday however, we would pass a horse and her ears would go back her hindquarters would sink down, her head would come up and I could feel her forehand preparing for liftoff. Sigh... What am I going to do with this horse?! Luckily there were no attacks and I reprimanded her every time she pinned her ears. My trainer said every time she acts up like that I needed to distract her and make her work so she wouldn't attack. I tried to take advantage of her lightness on the forehand and I would wiggle my ring finger to bring her nose back down then push her into my hand to really make her round and lift her back. It worked about 50% of the time. Then I tried asking her to get a bend through her body like we were preparing for a circle. Again, it was only about 50% effective. Oh dear.

Other than that she was really good. I tried out our fat bit that I bought last month and have been meaning to try out. I haven't decided if I love it or hate it... I put it in Jetta's mouth and immediately she hated it. She tried to spit it out and kept chewing on it (it's hollow so it make a really weird sound when she does that). I asked her to walk forward and she refused so I had to get after her a bit. Once she started moving she was licking her lips and she relaxed into it.

The bit definitely feels different even in my hands. It feels bigger. I have always ridden most horses in my myler bits, there was never any reason not to. Jetta was attentive to the bit, she did some nice transitions and she didn't grind the bit any more than usual. She did bear down really hard on the bit a couple times, but I think she was just testing it. Overall, I think it was good, but I'm going to ride in it a few more times. It might be too small for her mouth because it's a 4 and 3/4. I have 5 and 1/4 bits but they're just a tad bit too big so I need a second opinion about this bit. Here's what it looks like:

After everyone else left I put down some trot poles and made Jetta go through them slowly, without rushing. I set them on a slightly shorter stride and we got some great work done. Also worked on our transitions with trot to walk, trot to halt and halt to trot. Jetta is doing very well. So it was a good ride... for the most part :)

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