Finally the weather (semi) cooperated so I could have my lesson that I've had to reschedule 3 times now.
I was so excited!
2 hours of a private lesson with my trainer Meggie, who is kind, quiet and such a talent.
We started tacked up, and warmed up on the ground. I had Laz's BOT saddle pad on to help keep his back muscles warm and supple. It was a cool 32 degrees and windy on our lesson day but thankfully the pasture dried pretty quickly for decent footing.
Meggie had me work on having Laz stop on his circle with and without facing me. Without facing me helps him stay confident and not always looking to me for 'what's next'
Below I'm using my stick to yield his shoulder back onto circle. Pictures can't always translate, but the stick never touched him and is used slowly and as a request. Nothing vicious, or demanding.
What this picture does say is Laz has a big belly! Eeesh
Here he is stopped on his circle. He understood quickly and did great with it.
Lots of licking/chewing=processing and contentment
Mid snort, lots of releasing for Laz during our 2 hours :)
Yuck on the toe first...we need to hit our gravel/dirt roads for some hoof conditioning now that they are unfrozen
After about 15 minutes on the ground, I hopped up to ride in my bitless bridle
The 'issues' I hoped to work on were Laz's head tossing and 'feisty behavior' I've been experiencing on our last few rides out in the pasture and out on trails.
I put it all in quotes because I'm sure it's him trying to say "HEY STUPID!!! DO this or STOP doing that!" So, it's all part of figuring it out.
What I am not happy about, it I feel I'm causing him some discomfort in his bitless by over using reins and putting to much constant pressure on. Riding a flighty head shaking horse that wants to run may lead to that poor riding skill ;/
So Meggie had me w/t/c with him to assess what I'm doing.
Aside from being super happy that I'm riding my horse and having my Mom there to document it all (Thanks Mom!)
Sweet Laz. So so tolerant.
Sweet Mason, followed us for almost the entire 2 hours.
We warmed up tight. No, correction, I warmed up tight. Held my reins like a beginner. She urged me to 'loosen rein' 'loosen rein' 'loosen again' until we had this below on the buckle
Lots of releasing from Laz.
Duh, me not nagging him or over asking or over reminding him, made for a happier mount.
I forget how long his neck is. On the buckle I still have contact. It's the 'fear' of when he 'acts' up that he leaves me feeling behind. Again, see a common theme.
It's me. Not him.
Once Meggie reminded me of position, leg, LEG, USE YOUR SEAT, loose rein, turn shoulder, chin up (you know everything one forgets when out of working lessons) Laz was a happy, bouncy trotting boy. Walked, halted, cantered from a walk or trot and never 'acted' up. She thinks I ask him something, and then I don't release it. He gets annoyed by the ask and push and hold. Who wouldn't!??
Then, we tried something new. Something I requested. I had previously talked to Meggie about a bit option. I know..shocked?? I am as well. My Chiro mentioned that Laz's poll seemed sore and asked about my bitless. It made me think; if I'm using it incorrectly, then sure it would probably make him sore. I wanted to explore a bit as an option to give him a change of feeling, as well as having it as an option for our training, and trail riding, etc. Options people.
"Wazz a BiT?"
Meggie brought the 3 different bits that are for different type of horse personalities
We tried out one, he did very well, but she thinks the less ported one is a better option. We'll try that out next lesson in May
"Meggiezz u smelsss nicccce"
This was the cradle bridle/bit we rode in for anyone interested. I was surprised how well Laz did. He hasn't had a bit in his mouth for 4 years.
Bridle is UGLY, I hate the look of it, but it did seem to function well.
Meggie left us her C2 or C3, I can't remember...but C1 she thinks could be the winner.
Holy $$$$ for Myler bits
How nice that she loaned me her bridle/bit--um very. I'm returning it April 6 at our next clinic (more on that to come--Laz and I are doing a clinic!!!!!!!!!)
Anyone know of a similar bit/bridle by another maker that isn't an arm and a leg?!
I'd like an option but seems SO costly....maybe it's worth it? I don't know yet.
Look who's a Western pleasure fatty boom batty pony!? WTF?!
But, he had great slobber, chewed it a bit, never gaped (I have video but it's on my Mom's phone so I don't know how to upload to my youtube...darn) and we rode like super super soft and seemingly well connected.
No head snaking or acting up. He acted like he had a pacifier in his mouth!
We worked on w/t/c and transitions and he was great. Meggie commented on how soft and sensitive he is.
She wants me to use (as I feel comfortable) the bitless alternating it with bitted to give him options and get him used to it. This is from a trainer who rides in both, and bridle less so I trust her skills and training.
Look at his frame in a loopy loo rein--sorry for the blurry images but these are video stills
So much snorting and nose to the ground stretching in this bitted bridle.
Crazy...I was surprised
A tired pony who did so very well
I seriously love my tolerant, smart OTTB
and my loyal riding buddy, Mason
Mason passed OUT at while I watched "Desperate Housewives" (yes, I said it) later that night
What freaking fun we had!