I've never had a ride where he was both equally brilliant and horrible at the same time, and very inconsistently.
We are back in bit land, since the hackamore was giving him fits with the tear duct issue, but god bless...he just does not like bits. This is the main reason we have YET to dabble in dressage land, because he spends the entire time fussing and chomping and in general resisting the bit. I have tried EVERYTHING. Everything. He hates them, plain and simple. The ONLY bit he halfway tolerates is 100% illegal in dressage.
I've known 3 horses in my life, not including B that cannot even with metal in their mouth. One was a GP dressage horse hopeful but when it came to UL movements, she was horribly inconsistent. Had the talent, hated the bit. This is where I wish bitless was legal. FUCK you dressage.
So, the ride.
For the most part we played around at the walk and trot. Mostly the walk. Because its hard apparently. We did not canter once, but the way he was going round like a giraffe meant we were not ready for any semblance of a canter yesterday.
Granted, part of the problem is me. As I mentioned a few posts back I have a horrible habit of grabby hands, ESPECIALLY the possessed inside hand and that is not conducive to getting a horse to accepting contact. It takes all of my will power to not hang on the inside rein when he is determined to giraffe.
I am a firm believer of classical dressage and attempt to train this beast with those ideals but god bless he tests my patience. Maybe dressage will never be a thing of ours, because horse needs to accept the bit and work on it. Lately (aka last two weeks) he's taken to DIVING on the forehand, and or giraffing horribly. Neither of which are pretty or effective for good training and we spend the majority of our time walking and trying to relax. Pretty much fighting a losing battle.
Adding all the leg to push up into the contact helps, but he spends many many laps twisting and resisting and trying to spit the bit out that it never remains consistent. Its like, "trit trot, I am lovely, I am dressage I am OMG SQUIRREL GIRAFFE LEAP TWIST TROT IN PLACE" and thats how the entire ride goes. Two years I've tried. And two years he's told me bits are not his thing.
|Want this back *cries a little*|
When it was good it was BRILLIANT but when it was bad it was FUGLY.
We played with a fun exercise at the walk, really working on pushing from behind and walking with a march and free and loose.
Then, I added a little trot work. Just enough to switch it up and work on transitions. God forbid we go past the door of distraction because the squirrelgiraffe would lose focus again and I would have to get it all back.
Blah. I really am at a loss with what to do. Bitless we can do all of this easily and without resistance. With a bit he loses the beautiful contact and acceptance I work extremely hard to get within seconds if he gets slightly distracted or offended by something I ask him to do, like transition or some ungodly torturous shit.
Maybe dressage will never be a thing for us, and I'm honestly okay with it--but it would be fun to get a medal. ugh. We will see if he can ever work past this; at least bitless his flatwork is lovely.