Time: 1.5 hr
Bit: This is no longer a sub-category in my riding diaries (for now atleast) as you will see in a moment!
Ride: We've been having bit/head issues - anyone who has read my riding diaries knows that. Well, now Jingle is becoming an absolute pain to bridle, like attempting to walk on top of me and leave the premises when I bridle him. He used to be an absolute violent terror to bridle, and that has all but dissapeared since the spring, but now he's becoming a bit of a big, overgrown, annoying pest. It's been two weeks since I've had a lesson, last monday I rode in a ported bit with shanks we've been using, Jingle did well. Then I got hit by a tsunami otherwise known as my "early human burials, and emergence of symbolic behaviour" paper in african archaeology, and did not ride my boy until Friday. Friday I went out with some friends, I rode super briefly, let them fool around in his snaffle, and that was basically it.
Monday, Jingle was a terror. Head-throwing, including throwing backwards (watch my nose there ponyboy!), Head-shaking, prancing, not checking back. General disastor mess. My dentist had told me that after a month or two, I will know if Jingle will be more accepting of a bit, and if I wasn't sure - he would give me all the signs. Well, the damn horse has a very well-moving jaw now, after every ride I massage his jaw, TMJ and neck muscles, and we've attempted to under bit, normal bit, over bit, leverage bit, every-bit, well.... looks like my horse is telling me something, hey?
So, we are now attempting the Side Pull!
My trainer lent me her double rawhide noseband sidepull, she covers the noseband with vet wrap so it's a bit softer on their noses, and as she was putting it on him she said, "well... he has a nice forelock." and then, "either this is going to help, or it's going to be like riding around in a halter." I replied with perhaps Jingle and I will just enter "Best Mane" contests... at the walk.
So, the verdict?
Well... Jingle's headset was a lot better, way more relaxed and low. That is a very good thing!
Jingle was still doing his obstinant head-shake-mom don't make me do this-thing. Not surprising, attitude related, not bit/jaw related.
& then... my issue was the steering, Jingle wasn't exactly listening to my subtle steering ques...
During my lesson I almost ran into a girl who was halfway over a jump, also a child who was jogging her horse, very nicely and quietly on the rail, and a couple really pretty - hey, let's go over here! moments. Really embarassing. My trainer, of course, told me to stop that. (yes... I am intentionally trying to kill a child, yes... I love when I underestimate the time I have to move out of the way of an oncoming jumping warmblood. yes... I did infact intend to do a small circle, but here I am, circling half the arena and my horse could care less) More embarassment. Life is good.
I guess, especially in the first steps of this whole new bitless business, over-steering is probably what is going to have to occur until Jingle figures out how this whole new contraption works. However, It's more me struggling with the concept than him, sigh. I'm sure the two of us will get used too it, but, as I was being flung around the arena by my horse I definitely had one of those.... siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhhhhhhhhh.... days that I often have when it comes to my horse, his pissy-pants moment, and all his jaw and mouth issues.
So; Side Pull? Well... I went home and feverishly researched bitless options (i've done this before... I love to google), and the side pull looks like the best option for us right now. Jingle seems more... physically relaxed... in it, I saw physically because mentally I think my horse has two elephants in his brain attacking eachother sometimes. So, that's a plus, so we shall continue with this route and see what doors open down the road.
For Next Time: I ordered a sidepull, but it wont come in the mail until Friday. No surprise that none of Calgary's tack shops carry them, and the one that does wont have any in stock for about a month. Secondly, the online options weren't too great. Why oh why dont the big clearance/cheap websites deliver free to Canada? So unfair.
I'll probably just ride him in his rawhide noseband rope halter tonight, and hope he doesn't murder me. Plan of attack for tonight - softening, steering, and stopping - the three big S's!