Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Morning Minutes

I had a bit of an emotional weekend, which I will eventually share all over the internet when the time is right...but it was also a good one.

1. Yankee and V did quite well this weekend at their Novice debut. I was worried about this being their move up show, considering it was a Team event and those can sometimes be a little bit more difficult, but they handled it well!

Thats his XC face
Dressage went better, according to V, and he was more relaxed with her this time around. His strength has never been dressage, despite being abel to lay down some good scores in the past. Judges tend to not like him because he is not flashy-- despite the fact that he has 3 solid gaits, but he is capable of high scores. I've seen it and ridden it! I doubt will ever be one of those low 20s type horses, but he sure can jump. Eventually they will get to the low 30s with them, but I thought a 39 was respectable for her level and considering they had gotten quite a few mid 40s together in the past, I thought this displayed how hard she has been working at this dressage game.

He has also been taking his nap game seriously

VERY seriously 
What really impressed me was her stadium round. The first few shows she had really buried him the to fences and he would chip or jump awkwardly almost every time. Additionally, he was not respecting her half halts whatsoever. They have worked tirelessly on stadium and I think it showed. Her round was wonderful and he jumped beautifully. I also have a theory that he jumps better over higher fences anyways, but they made me proud this weekend.




XC gave her some new questions, like a ditch, bank and corner (literally WTF, at novice? Since when?) and they tackled it brilliantly. I can't wait to see the pro pics!

Overall they ended 11th out of a large division of 25 at their first novice together and I couldn't be more proud and excited for the next year!

2. B is 100% sound. FINALLY. He was cleared for under saddle work and we've been going for long walks around the farm and working on fun things like lateral work, walking over poles and halts. Riveting stuff people. I had been holding back on trotting because he still felt a little off to me, but yesterday he felt 100% so I will slowly add in more work and eventually some jumping. Dare I say this, but I am feeling super lucky this wasn't a worse injury and it healed relatively quickly.

Hai, you have snax yes?



3. Hackabit. I've been playing with B's set up for a while. I  refused to admit for a while that he simply hates bits, but I've come to that conclusion along with others-- trusted folks like trainers, so please, keep your opinions to yourself. I hate that I even have to say that, but we all know people on the internet can be judgmental assholes. Something I'm working on too. ANYWAYS. I switched him to a hackamore  a while back after playing around with several different bits with no luck, settling on the hackamore. He went quite well in it and happily went around courses under 3ft quite well. I've never actually had a horse respond so well to a hackamore--the difference is night and day. He just hates bits of all kinds and never really relaxes with one in his mouth.

However, once the jumps go up, B starts to tune out the hackamore. I don't blame him at all, to be honest. If I was a big mean jumping bean machine I think I would tune out my plebe of a rider when the fences go up and attack with gusto too. Its not that I need more control  of him, or want to rip the shit out of his face, I just needs a little finesse. Its costly to have a horse not listen to a half halt when the fences are bigger, and I'm not willing to have that be an option.

I've debated trying the combo hack bits, but I tried one on Yankee once and it was WAY too much for him and he's a lot less sensitive than B. That, and the fact that they're usually $100+, I didn't want to drop that only to have B reject it 1000%.

Tired from an hour hack in "warmer" temps. Time for that coat to go!

Enter, my franken-hackabit creation. It looks ghastly, but honestly, I think its perfect. B really seemed to love it as well. This creation is simply a bridoon hanger added under the hackamore, with two reins. The bridoon is a super small straight bar snaffle--one I NEVER thought in a million years he would like. One rein attached to the small snaffle, and the other attached to the hackamore. Also, I added a standing martingale, because hot TB with 3 weeks indoors and hardy any turnout. This obviously had to be attached to a noseband since you can't out a standing on a hackamore, but it will eventually come off again once he settles back into a routine of work and isn't a giant ball of energy.

I played with this  set up a few times just to make sure his first test ride wasn't a fluke, and I have to say, this might be our solution. For one, his walk is his worst gait--pretty resistant to relaxation and giving with his jaw and poll. I know its resistance, and despite how soft my hands are or how mild the bit, he still is inconsistent with acceptance. With the hackabit, he was 100% relaxed.  Seriously. Even when he would shy at something or get lit about horses running around all it took was a half halt, and instead of flinging his head around and flailing, he simply came back to me and lifted his back and stepped under himself. Say what?! For two, I adore two reins. They act separately and each have their own purpose and I really feel a difference with each one. I luff it.

A happy B

I am curious to see how this transfers to jumping, but I can say that at the WTC, he has continued to show no objections. I am truly stunned because I stayed away from thinner bits, thinking he would hate them. In the wrong hands, thin bits can really be awful and are considered a little more severe than normal, fatter snaffles. But maybe, this whole time B has been trying to tell me that he has a small mouth and fat bits are not his jam? Interested to see if this transfers to dressage and their legal bits and whatnot--I will be trying this. Sidenote does anyone have a thin loose ring for sale, haha.

blurry proof
4. New blankets. I had a Dover gift card that I've been waiting to use for just the right time, and Dover's tent sale was the perfect opp. They had Amigo medium weights for FIFTY DOLLARS each, so I snagged two--one for Yanks and one for B. They look really sharp AND satisfied my type A by completing a full set of Amigo blankets for the babies--sheet, lightweight, medium weight and heavyweight. I can die happy now. Sadly got no pics, because I forgot, but they are quite nice.

Stock photo


I'm excited that this week we finally have normal fall temps and riding outside will be glorious and not sweaty. What are you all up to this week?

33 comments:

  1. Yay for Yankee and his rider's novice debut, and double yay for soundness and that you found something B goes well in! ☺ Some horses just really don't have space in their mouths for the big, fat snaffles, and really love those thinner ones. Goes against everything we want to do, but if they like it....haha. and triple yay for all the matchy blankets -- I'm super jelly. My horses all have mismatched shenanigans going on, lol.

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    1. The sale really helped me finally match all the things hahah!!

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  2. RE: Thin loose ring for sale, what mouth do you need? Only because this bit: http://www.statelinetack.com/item/korsteel-solid-mouth-bit/SLT900224/ is my most favorite thing ever and I'm utterly convinced it's magic. 15$ magic. 10/10 would recommend. Its also on Amazon prime for 15$, if you have that.

    My red mare is softer and more ride-able in almost direct correlation to bit width (and also strongly prefers loose rings even though she turns better in a D ring). I'm starting to wish I could find something that's 14mm because I'm curious if she would get softer the thinner I go. I'm way too into this bit but it's been magic (on multiple horses) and it's cheap...

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    1. Oh I have to look into that now. thanks!!!

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  3. Lol @ "hackabit"! I've also heard them called"snaffamores" haha

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    1. Oh that's even better. I'm stealing that.

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  4. At Coco we had two corners on the N course. There are a couple courses here in TX that have one. Coco even had a little baby one at BN! Level creep is real.

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    1. Oh I know. I just want to know when that became a thing. Even two years ago I never saw a corner at Novice and that's in KY

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  5. Snaffamore sounds even cuter. I agree that sometimes the bigger snaffle are just too much in the mouth. I do like hackamores on some horses, they just are happier.

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  6. Houston went in a hackamore snaffle combo for a while. I just hung a KK on the bradoon hanger for him as that's what he liked best. The ability to use each piece independently is really helpful for the sensitive ones! :)

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  7. I used to stay away from thinner bits as well but the draft mare I ride has made it extremely clear that anything besides her myler and she will forget how to horse. One day I was like "Let me put a random snaffle on you and see what happens." And what happened was me getting off and leading her back to the barn to get the myler because she had forgotten how to steer or stop. She just walked around with her head in the air and flipped out any time I touched the reins. I've come to the conclusion she just does not have that much space in her mouth.

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    1. Horses are so weird. Now I'm sad I sold my myler!!!!

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  8. What a steal of a deal on those blankies! Both of my novice courses had corners. I was pretty excited to see those, it makes me feel cool. Both boys are looking awesome!

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    1. Yeah I remember you saying that! What I want to know is when that became a thing though. In 11 years I never once saw a corner at Novice. Even 2 years ago at Team Challenge at the KYHP there wasn't a corner at Novice! Now, apparently its commonplace.

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  9. yay for healing pony injuries!! that wasnt too bad at all!

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    1. It felt like ages, but honestly 3 weeks could've been a lot worse

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  10. Yay that B is sound!!! Also sounds like Yankee is doing really well :). Glad you found a solution for B, it's so nice to read when people actually listen to there horse and find the best solution for them.

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    1. I try to do my best for the boys! Thank you

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  11. I also have a baby who has made it known that he wants the tiniest bit ever. But he loves plain steel, copper was a huge no go and so was nathe. So I pulled out a tiny little french link bridoon meant for a double bridle (which I have for my UL horse) and he LOVES it. It's legal to use a bridoon for dressage by itself. I bought this thing for like $10 from Middleburg Tack Exchange, I'm sure they pop up online for cheap. But the tiny part of it is because it's a double bride bridoon, so keep your eye out for those.

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    1. yeah this one I have is a straight bar bridoon from my double, but I kinda wanna try a snaffle bridoon. Thanks for the tip, I will absolutely check it out!

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  12. Woohoo for sounds ponies and new coats :)

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    1. New coats tho < 3 I do also like sound ponies hahaha

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  13. There was a corner on our last N xc I walked (that later got rained out and cancelled) June of last year. Also, what even with horses, right? Bobby isn't happy unless he's in the thinnest single joint around. Whatevs, bro.

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  14. My horse is EXACTLY like your B over fences. We're experimenting with him in a pelham right now, which he'll get bored of in three months, and we'll be off to find another solution. Again.

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