What’s Been Going On With Little Miss Ruby!
We had a stint of bad weather and our training schedule got a little inconsistent for about a month or so. Luckily, Mother Nature has blessed us so far to start out 2020! We are back on track again and have made some great progress.
Two Things We Have Been Focusing On
The first thing that we have been focusing on is getting her to stay in front of the leg. In other words, when we ask her to go forward she keeps going forward without the rider having to pester her about going all the time.
By focusing solely on keeping her forward, she seems to have made a lot of improvement in this department. Which is, of course, awesome because it makes it easier to work on other skills. It is hard to think about making her go and proper bend at the same time. Not to mention, if she is not moving forward and staying in front of the leg we cannot work on having her going in a correct frame or collection.
Softening Her Jaw
Meaning, Ruby has spent a lot of time being very resistant to the rider’s hand. Instead of softening with forwarding movement and contact, she started leaning on one side of the bit and getting very rigid in her neck and jaw.
After getting back into a regular routine for a few weeks, we were hoping to have made more progress with this, or at least more progress than we had. We decided to do an experiment with a bitless bridle, that was unsuccessful. Though I hope that one day she will be ready to give it a try again!
Yesterday’s Bit Experiment
Bit On the Left What She Has Been Going In. On The Right What, We Tried Yesterday
Obviously, the corkscrew we put her in yesterday was a more severe bit than the one that she was in previously. She actually looked much more content in this bit. It kept her from leaning and holding the bit on one side of her mouth and getting rigid in the jaw and neck. Watching her go around yesterday, she was much more respectful of Christina’s hand and there were not as many of those moments where it looked like they were fighting.
I think that this bit is going to benefit us in the meantime. Sort of gets us over the hump per se. Nothing has to be permanent. Maybe this bit will help us teach her not to set her jaw and lean so much. Then we can always switch back to something gentler. whether it be back to the old bit or try something else. There is nothing wrong with trying different things! All horses are different and you will never know what works best unless you try different things!