Bear with me in this long ramble.
I started Valiosa in a super mild” Happy Mouth Shaped Mullen Mouth. It was very thick – as she came along in the training it didn’t feel very responsive.
Later, she went happily in two different Full Cheek bits. The first one was sort of thick, the second one thinner, and with copper, once I figured out she prefers a thinner fit. That’s her in a Full Cheek below.
Once I thought it was a good time to leave that bit, I switched to a Baucher . First it was a Single Jointed Happy Mouth Baucher. “Icky-Thick”, she thought.
In the Happy Mouth Baucher.
Then a Copper Baucher, below, but it still felt too thick somehow. It’s hard to know, right, since they can’t tell you? But I thought she looked like she wanted something slimmer in there 🙂 If that’s a look they can have. Chewing is good, but there was a lot of it.
(Snore, this is WAY too much rambling about bits. Booooring. And passé. OK to fall asleep…)
In the Copper Baucher.
Next up, the bit she’s had for some time now, a Korsteel French Link Baucher. That type of middle link just because it was the only very thin bit available. Yes, dressage legal. And, even though it’s not copper she foams nicely in it.
She wears it very low, – if one hole higher it looks sort of “jammed” in there.
Why am I telling you all this awful, regular every-day stuff?
Because right before putting my left leg in a walking cast for weeks, I thought a Loose Ring might be great to try with her now, with whichever benefits the Loose Ring offers vs. the more stable Baucher cheek piece.
(Because we’re insane dressage fanatics and everything has to always improve and become more comfortable, simultaneously.)
So, several weeks ago, she got switched from the very thin, Korsteel French Link Baucher to a regular Loose Ring Double Jointed snaffle in copper.
A regular classic fit, looks just like this Aurigan Sprenger on La Prima above, although that one was too big for Valiosa.
Valiosa’s bit – she has also worked in this bit before just fine, a little more than a year ago. Here it is:
The double jointed loose ring copper snaffle with lozenge.
Also slim, mild, with a nice rounded lozenge. (Dressage legal bits are never going to be anything else.)
Thought she’d be good with going back to that Loose Ring, and maybe prefer the middle piece to the French Link on the Baucher. Really isn’t a big deal to switch around. Besides, many horses like working in different bits.
We had two lovely rides with it. Then, two rides where she had a complete melt down!
Spinning, stopping, balking in every way, reining back, bucking in place, and yes, threatening to maybe, just maybe, rear if pushed just a little more.
Came out of the blue. All from the bit? That’s a tough sell.
I adjusted the saddle, added half pad shims, talked with my saddle fitter, looked over her feed, removed shims, considered whether it could be because she’d had her hind shoes removed, added a flash. Loosened the girth, removed the flash, smelled her breath, lowered my expectations. Stared and listened to the way she chewed both grass and treats, raised my expectations. Asked for energetic movement from the start, made sure to post light and high, and kept an extremely light contact.
Um, yeah no, still an angry little gray mare, and now it looks like she’s just learned a new evasion and it’s going to be her go-to move…
Some light lunging to make sure she was forward and on the same page as me with the Te-rr-ott command, we tried it again on a new day.
Super wiggly… These were the least awful screen shots… Seriously.
Popping out the outside shoulder. Worse the other direction.
Angry curling back.
Folding up and running through the shoulder.
Suddenly bursting forward, and still somehow managing to completely evade contact. I’m left by myself on a different planet here.
I’m still not convinced this was all just because she went in a different snaffle…
Once we had a few decent minutes together, I ended it for the day.
In the short video she was opening her mouth a lot more than usual. Which she can since the noseband is loose.
So, back to the Baucher! Better now? Took several days, but I think so…
It’s tricky sometimes – she can be a sensitive tulip, and sometimes completely dull, and lazy, all at the same time. Once she comes up with a new evasion it sticks for a while. Now we’re in this period of stopping and balking type of evasion. For X amount of time.
But I think she just really HATED the very kind snaffle. Why?! Vet and dental check in 3 days!!
Feels so much better after venting about all this. Thanks for hanging in there to the end 🙂
Hey, we’re on a roll with the blurry mobile video shots! That kind of pictures will be all I’ve got to offer until the end of the moth 🙂 More next time.