Monday, March 21, 2016

We Have a Bit...Of a Problem

Thats actually a really punny title. You'll find out why if you keep reading.

How to make your 17.1 horse look small : be me
I have no fun show updates like the rest of you, but it was a pretty good week/weekend in term of riding. But I do have several other small updates to make. Try to pay attention.

So all last week and the week before, while my beautiful new dressage bridle was at the tailors, because Bacardi is a superstar at breaking shit....

...I was using my jump bridle/bit to do flatwork because thats all I had. Poor planning/I might need a spare bridle set for future reference.

He was absolutely stunning all week. No tantrums (those are rare these days) and even better, no giraffe resisting. I was pretty confident and happy with how things were going.

I then got the precious back and went ahead and rode in the correct tack.

Cue head flipping, literally every 87 seconds.

Um, ok.

So we revisited the standing martingale and the lunge line of discovery. Much shorter lesson this time at 10 minutes and then he was like, FINE.

Not from this week, haha
Then I thought about it. He is ALWAYS perfect in my jump tack. Rarely flips his head in the middle of a gait or transition, unless he wants to RUN through a fence and I have to half halt. Even then its a sideways head toss and not a half rear type deal. In his dressage bit he isn't bad, he just literally flips his head every transition, or mostly I notice in the trot.

I think B hates his dressage bit.

Before we revisits saddle fit, I've ridden his dressage bit on the jump bridle, and also his dressage bridle with his jump saddle, the common denominator here is the frenchlink. LE SIGH.

Which sucks, because he also REALLY hates anything ELSE that isn't a french link. Like literally, good luck walking forward because he will be spending his time flying backwards trying to spit offending bit out.

Which poses an even greater problem for competition. HE LOVES his waterford. Waterfords are not dressage legal. WHY WHY WHY though?? They are such nice bits. Yankee goes in one for XC and he adores it. They are so mild and my boys prefer the several breaks in the mouthpiece.

The Gina Miles version of a Waterford loose ring
So what am I to do? He obviously goes super nice in his waterford, and resists the frenchlink a bit. Anything else is out of the question.

Any advise would be helpful....

I thought I was done with bitting problems, ugh.

Anyways, besides that, he was great this weekend. I was absolutely destroyed from shoveling an actual half ton of sawdust into my barn for the boys (arriving next week!!) and stacking the expensive fucking hay I bought their precious selves, so riding was hard.

He was VERY excitable and really wanted to jump and my body was like, no.

I had fully intended on jacking the oxers up to 3'6 to get some height in, but I was too sore to really tolerate his constant pulling so we schooled *trying* to maintain a nice, huntery canter in between jumps. Tried.

He was actually a very good boy, but I simply didn't have the physical ability to really ride well and cut the ride short. I was pleased though still, even with a few minor wtf moments, he was lovely.

This week I am interviewing for a part time medical billing position so along with grad school, gym, and full time insurance job, in addition to picking up Yankee's companion horse this weekend and bringing him home....we will see if we ride much.

Also, stay tuned for a cool giveaway for my 600th post!!


  1. I don't have any advice on bits, but, Kevin Hart GIFs FTW :)

    Can't wait for the giveaway!!

  2. Maybe he would like a snaffle with a roller over a french link? Mia HATES french links as well, so I feel ya. I am having a lot of luck in a copper snaffle and a HS snaffle on her, she really likes the HS baucher I got for a song. Plain snaffles, no. French link, no. Fancy or expensive, apparently yes.

    1. This is a good suggestion. He will not tolerate anything with less than 2 breaks, but he's slowly getting tired of the French. It's crazy how much he loves his Waterford. Ugh! Why can't they just be legal for dressage

  3. Replies
    1. Got one I can borrow because holy expensive hahaha

    2. I have a used one that I'd sell / let you trial if you like. My mare is doing dressage in a slow twist because she is similarly unimpressed and unhappy with regular dressage legal things. Adding triangle mouth bits to the list of things that should be ok in the dressage ring! My horse seems to like bits with edges. She did go nicely in a weighted loose ring snaffle from korsteel, but she realllllly likes single link bits like a weirdo.

    3. Actually I do have one you can borrow if you're interested. I have two, one a 5" and one either 5 1/4 or 5 1/2".

    4. Totes what I was gonna suggest too!

  4. How about just a regular snaffle? Or a full cheek snaffle?

    1. Like I said in the post, nothing else will remotely work besides a French link. He absolutely hates anything else. I've tried everything but a nathe:/

  5. how frustrating!! i hate trying to search for new bits.... my mare went in a waterford successfully for a while, then we transitioned to a double jointed bridle with a bean instead of the flat french link plate. still has multiple joints, but not the harder edges of the place. maybe it'll be B's happy medium?

  6. Are you going to invent a time-turner or just give up on sleep? I'm really not sure how you're going to fit in another job and ever ride. As for bits, what about a happy mouth since those are considerably cheaper than nathe bits. There's a happy mouth double jointed with a roller.

  7. What about something like a leather mouthpiece? Rio HATED normal bits in dressage. Single jointed hit the roof of his mouth and anything else he'd still flip his nose around. We had loose rings made with leather mouthpieces and he LOVED them. They were flexible, and saliva softened it up and let it mold around his mouth. It created something he felt like he could actually push into the contact. It's sort of like the idea behind the mullen Nathe, but not plastic, and there are some things I actually like more. Plus we had them made for about $15.

  8. I recommend a Nathe. You can try a loose ring and see how it goes. They are easy enough to come by.

  9. I have the same issue with Smokey and bits. His FAVE bit so far has been this one
    Yes, Dear Precious Princess mommy can SOO afford a nearly $150 bit! I'm hoping he'll go for the Rubber ones but so far that's had a mixed result (or renders me with completely no half halt or any halt/control thereof haha)

  10. Bacon agrees with Bacardi on her Waterford. She thinks it's the best thing ever.

  11. Alright I totally thought waterfords were the devil. But maybe a lozenge french link rather than the flat plate?

  12. I hate searching for bits. IT SUCKS.

  13. I've never actually seen a wateford before... that's interesting! I like that it has more than two breaks, because it would mold to the mouth better and not poke them in the palate. I wonder why that isn't legal or even just more common in bits? I hope you can figure something out that works for him. I don't know much about bits, so I'm now help lol.