Wednesday, January 26, 2022

What's Up Wednesday


It was a relatively quiet week around these parts. We're plugging away, doing our best to do meaningful work despite being SO COLD all of the time! The cold isn't too much trouble for Al, but Eros and Shiny both have a tough time with it. But we do what we can!

Eros had a lesson last week, his first in a little while. He was quite good, and only dragged me to one of the handful of jumps we popped over. His fresh bank has been filling up though, and I knew I would need to let him have a free lunge soon. I've been reluctant since he's not feeling the soundest he's ever been, but I also think his mental health is just as important. I did my best to be thoughtful about it though. Monday is the day off at the barn, so I figured I would ride him Tuesday and work him somewhat hard. Then let him have his free lunge today (Wednesday). I figured he'd be a little less than sound post free lunge, and I figured right. He didn't feel super during our ride after. However, he also was ridiculously tired from his gallop around so I'm not worrying too much just yet. Instead, I decided to basically bubble wrap him for awhile... And by that I mean I covered him head to toe in Back on Track (and his cozy wool cooler for warmth) and tucked him in his stall while I rode Al and Pammon.

Clearly it relaxed him.

Fingers crossed he's feeling his usual self tomorrow for our lesson. And if not, we already have the vet coming on Friday anyway. (So yeah, that also factored into my allowing the free lunge... help was already scheduled!) 

Al has been his amazing self. I've still been struggling with the contact though, and finally decided I wanted to try some other bits. I have two bridles set up for him currently, both loose rings that have two joints. But one is thicker and he has seemed to prefer that one to the thinner one. I kind of had a hunch he'd like a single joint too. I know we're taught that three piece bits sit more comfortably in the mouth, but I really think every horse has a different preference. Prior to following any of my hunches though, I stuck a leather loose ring in his mouth. Two reasons for that: First, it was already in my locker since I'd loaned it to a friend and she had returned it there. Second, most of my horses LOVE the leather bits, so why not start there? Turns out though, Al wasn't into it. He went exactly the same as he did in the thinner bit we'd tried already. I did wonder if that would be the case since the leather bit is pretty thin. No harm though, that's how we learn! Being the person I am, I didn't remember to go through the bit box and find some things to try for this week. But I knew I had a bit at the barn already that he might like. It's leather wrapped, but is a metal bit under that. It has one joint, but the bit can also swivel around that joint. The bit itself has a little curve to it as well. This is it:

The stitching faces out, so it's not abrasive on the lips. Guys, he seems to love this bit! I still lose the contact when he decides he wants to look out the windows... but I can get it back relatively quickly. I also discovered that I have been riding with absolutely no thigh on the horse. When I close my thigh he basically puts himself in the contact. Who knew? It's like correct riding makes the horse go well... Mind blowing! I did an easy lesson with him last weekend (pre bit change unfortunately) and he was wonderful. The jumps stayed tiny which was perfect since we hadn't jumped in awhile. I'm hoping to lesson on him again Friday, it's just dependent on what time the vet comes for the others. I'm sure it will be at the lesson time cause that's how it usually works! Lol! 

Shiny has been trying to put in some work. We had a random warmish day yesterday (almost 40!), and she felt significantly better than she had in awhile. But today, the temps dropped back to the teens and I had a very unwilling pony again. I really do think the cold stiffens her neck up and she just can't give me great work. She's on the vet list too so we'll see what he thinks on Friday. Overall, I think she's fine, I just also know she could be BETTER. Ya know? But maybe I just need to be patient and wait to really ask for more until the weather gets better. It won't be cold forever. 

Not much to report on for Pammon just now. He's still enjoying his 30 minute tack walks. Fingers crossed we can start trotting after the vet sees him Friday. (Yes, that's right, I'm having THREE of the horses looked at on Friday. I swear, I think my horses are putting my vet's kids through college.)

In other news, I think Rita is settling in better. She hasn't had a wet diaper in a few days, though she did pee on the floor the other night. 

Pia had a little drama that required all my attention, and in the chaos Rita went out but didn't do her business, and I was so busy with P that I forgot to put R's pants back on. So I'm counting that one as my mistake. As for P, she ripped a toenail off, so there was blood EVERYWHERE (on my freshly cleaned floors) but she's doing just fine now. 

Know what it's like to bandage a pug foot?
It's nearly impossible. 

Rita still goes after P now and then, but it's pretty rare now. So hopefully things will be okay between them. They even lounged this close to each other the other night!

So that was wonderful! I'm not sure they'll ever be best friends, but as long as Pia doesn't hate Rita, that's good enough. 

And that's really all I have to report on this week. How are things with all of you? 


  1. Good luck with the bit experimentation! Charlie always seems to prefer a heavier thicker bit too.

    1. I think we're sticking with this one for awhile, he really seems to like it!

  2. Eros looks very comfy. LOL

    I think every horse has a bit preference (or just don't care) and it's 100% ok. Nay hates, Hates, HATES single jointed (and full cheek), but is happy with a fat double jointed whereas Subi loves soft mullen mouths, myler comfort snaffles, etc., but never cared if he went in a single jointed bit. It didn't make that much difference to him. Only bit he ever truly hated? Nathe.

    Batt just loved copper mouth stuff, the myler comfort snaffle, and a double jointed copper snaffle. But, ultimately, he didn't actually care much either.

    1. They definitely all have their preferences! Shiny is funny in that she likes a three piece with the lozenge in the middle, but HATES a french link. She goes best in the leather one though.

  3. I'm with you, there is no one size fits all when it comes to bits! Dante has a narrow palette so a French link sits awkwardly in his mouth causing confusion and anger on his part (he prefers single or Mullen mouth).

    1. They definitely all have different preferences! I used to feel so surprised when a horse didn't like the french link since it's "supposed" to be the nicest. But now I've learned that's not always the case.
      Al didn't like the mullen leather bit, but he may like a mullen rubber since I think the thicker mouth piece seems to make him happy. I'm sticking with this one I've been using for now, since he seems really happy.