Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Well I survived round 2 of riding the monster pony yesterday. She was much more manageable. I got to the barn before feeding time and decided to ride while the arena was still empty instead of cleaning stalls first. A long warm up on the lunge, before throwing a leg over the fire breathing dragon.

She was a lot better. I switched out her bit, from the Myler loose ring to a Herm Sprenger Mullen mouth. I really like this bit. Before Jetta, I never tinkered with bits. Everyone got ridden in the same bit and they all went perfectly well. Then there's Jetta. I've tried all sorts of things on her. I still ride her in the Myler most times, but she goes really well in this HS bit.

I've had a couple dressage trainers tell me that the Myler is "too severe and thin" for her, but honestly it's one of the bits she goes best in on the flat. And if a bit is too severe for her, then she's even worse and dives on the bit, flings her head and gapes her mouth. So it's definitely not too severe. Thick bits make her less responsive to my aids and she grinds her teeth. But even though this HS bit is definitely thicker, she has a very quiet mouth, no grinding or gaping. She is also still responsive without being too sensitive. The mullen aspect means she can't lean on the bit, but she more than happily takes up contact with it. I just wish it were legal to show in! (While it's described as being "shaped for the horse's mouth", USDF considers it to be ported since it has a deviation of more than 30mm, therefore not legal).

Anyways, our ride was a lot quieter with only one spin/leap when someone walked past the arena gate. We even managed a nice canter. It was short and sweet though because almost as soon as I switched directions another boarder started leading her amped up horse to the arena to lunge. Just what I needed, another horse to convince Jetta that spooking is necessary! So after a quick trot to the right, where she was soft and polite. I stopped and dismounted just in time for the other horse to enter the arena and blast off on the lunge. Whew, crisis averted.

Me? Be bad? Never

Today was just going to be a lunge Jetta and ride Misty day. But when I got to the barn after work, at 28 degrees... I'm embarrassed to say that I wimped out. It was FREEZING. I know, I know. It's way colder basically everywhere else. Well, 1) I'm a wimp and 2) it's been 50+ degrees the past few weeks so I haven't gotten acclimated to the temperatures yet. I resigned myself to picking frozen poop nuggets out of the stalls. Jetta was pretty amped in her stall so I decided I would lunge her anyways even though my nose and fingers were about ready to freeze off.

Again, psycho pony. It was feeding time and everything was terrifying. She pranced and galloped and bucked and whirled around. Finally calmed down, cooled her off and put her away. Tomorrow it's supposed to snow and campus is freaking out with their winter weather warnings and "dangerously low temperatures". Personally, I'm not sure how big of a "storm" this'll be, but if it snows I'll be happy! I finally have my truck back (four wheel drive!!) so I can get out to the barn.


  1. I've heard multiple opinions on thin bits = harsh or not harsh. To be honest, sometimes I feel a thinner bit is easier on them. After all, if you open up their mouth you can clearly see that most horses have a large tongue that spills out across their teeth. Fiction's is exceptionally bad - twisted and swollen from his days on the racetrack. Anyways, when a horse has a bit in their mouth it further compresses the tongue and causes it to overflow, taking up room in the mouth and becoming uncomfortable. I ride Fiction in an incredibly thin Myler loose-ring. I've even taking him XC in it, where I've used it quite a bit to get some brakes! As long as the bit isn't cutting into the side of their mouth/leaving sores, I honestly don't believe thinner = harsher. But that is just my two cents! :)

    1. I definitely agree. I think the conformation of Jetta's mouth doesn't leave enough room for a thicker bit so putting one in is uncomfortable!

  2. Yep..thin bits are not harsh, they are designed for horses with small mouths.

  3. I feel for you on the fire breathing dragon! Alex has had several of those moments this winter!