Yesterday I let Misty have the day off and just rode Jetta. I decided to ride her in a kineton noseband. I'd bought it a long time ago, but for some reason forgot I had it and never tried her in it. Since going back to work she's been super heavy and pulling, like she usually is until we can work out of it. But with how strong she's been I was thinking of possibly switching from her plain Myler loose ring to a french link 2-ring gag that I have. That way on endurance rides I could start out on the lower ring at the beginning of our ride so I could have a little more "lift" and then switch to the snaffle ring once she's chilled out a bit. But, an even better idea was the kineton.
I'd researched lots of bits and nosebands for Jetta since she is a puller, yet at the same time she cannot go in a severe bit because it just makes her even worse to ride. I came across the kineton and puckle nosebands. The puckle kind of looks like a flash noseband but the lower strap that usually goes around the mouth just attaches to the bit on either side. Both of the nosebands have the same idea of transferring some of the pressure from the bit to the nose.
Jetta goes really well in a sidepull, so I thought that one of these nosebands would be perfect for her. I'd prefer the puckle noseband, but they're really rare. More common in Europe than anywhere else, and still rarely at that. CWD makes a couple varieties, one with elastic and one without, but they're super spendy. Anyways. I found a cheap kineton on ebay and bought it a while ago and then yesterday finally tried in on Jetta.
First Whoa! moment: It was awesome. She tried to pull a little bit but found she couldn't. But, since it was still her regular, soft bit, she could still hold contact with me. It was really nice. I'm excited to keep riding her in this to see if this dramatic effect is going to wear off or not. It might even be a good option for cross country instead of or in addition to her waterford bit.
Before I rode her I walked her around the BO's new mini trail course. I took pictures of her but apparently they didn't get saved to my phone. She was really good! She usually likes to remind me that she is not a competitive trail horse and regularly refuses to cross bridges on the trail and spooks at anything mildly "scary". But she cruised around the little course at our barn like it was no big deal. I was even able to perfectly ask her to back the "L" which a lot of horses have a hard time with. She crossed the little bridge and went over a tarp full of empty plastic water bottles that were nice and crunchy with barely any hesitation.
I rode Misty today and she was semi-good. In that, we really worked on getting a good, solid stop without any of those trailing steps. Second Whoa! moment: She finally seemed to really get it. She's really good at stopping with her hind end under her, she just needed to understand that when I asked for a halt, I meant halting now and no extra steps. So then we moved on to doing a "square" exercise where in each corner I asked her for a quarter turn on the haunches, concentrating on not using my hands and getting her to really pick up her shoulder. It was kind of 50/50. Sometimes she'd really get it and it was awesome. Other times she wouldn't get it at all. And then still other times she would skip around (skipping = bad. It's supposed to be more like trotting than cantering). I guess that's more like 33/33/33 than 50/50, lol. Then we returned to the stopping and she wasn't doing it as well as previously, though I'm hoping it was just because she was physically/mentally tired. At least I know she can do it!
Third Whoa! moment: my post about the ranch versatility show from the other day got 105 views. Wow. Usually I average about 30 views per post, so that was a huge surprise! Not sure why it's so popular.
The weather's been super rainy this week so I'm not sure when I'll be able to make it out on the trails. I really want to go at least once with Jetta and once with Misty and then take one of them and go with a friend, so three times total in the next two weeks. But the weather's just looking icky so we'll just have to play it by ear...
|One benefit of being rainy = pretty clouds|