To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Boot-scootin' boogie

With all that has been going on in my life and trying to post on my farm blog every day of November, posts here have been pretty scarce. But last week included several blog-worthy items so I'm going to do my best to fight through the fuzzy-headedness, sore throat and aches to tell you about them.

First of all, the results of my Cyber Monday shopping and eBay stalking both arrived.

Oy; that mirror needs cleaning!
The tall boots are fantastic! My right calf is bigger than my left so the left boot fits perfectly and the right boot is TIGHT; but thanks to the elastic panel it isn't uncomfortable.

The bitless bridle was . . . interesting. It can be used as a side-pull and with cross-under straps; we tried out both options when we schooled on Sunday.

Yes, we schooled, not just "moseyed," because I wanted to see if we could dance with the same frame and movement that we work on when using our regular bridle without anything in his mouth. I was not impressed with the cross-under option (first one shown), but the side-pull option worked quite well. The problem was, it put a lot of pressure on the bridge of his nose with a relatively narrow, unpadded cavesson, so I've decided to send it back. (It is a demo model.)

The next two rides (with our regular bit and bridle) were excellent. After playing with passage in our lesson with Julie, I had worked once with Lance in hand, tapping the top of his rump with my dressage whip to see if he would sit and offer any passage steps; he did, even though he got a bit frustrated with the whip. I thought about working on that exercise again, but didn't have a lot of extra time so just mounted up. Even though I have trouble executing it, I decided to tap the top of his rump from the saddle to see what he would do. The result was MUCH better engagement of his hindquarters with none of his usual little stumbles. We worked on that again the next day with equally good results. So excited to find something that works for us!


SmartAlex said...

Nice boots! Good shoppin'. I tried bitless and my horse told me firmly that he thought it was stupid. It was rather amusing when I used right rein and he shouldered determindley to the left LOL! But he is perfectly content in a halter with reins. The bitless bridles apply too much pressure in various places for his liking.

A :-) said...

Those are some fine looking boots, my friend! :-)

Mary said...

Wow, those boots are seriously wonderful. I had my field boots CUT OFF in the hospital so I will be looking also. Bitless works for me if I am just casually riding but if needing a response pronto...not so good.