Monday, June 17, 2019

Bit of Evolution

Our last couple of lessons have been less than stellar.  At first I attributed it to not jumping a whole lot and Peebs being excited to jump. He was wiggly and forward, but would take much offense if I used too much hand.  And by too much hand, I mean pretty much any hand. When we jumped if I had more than just the barest amount of contact he'd flip his head and scoot sideways. It got to the point where it felt like I couldn't touch his mouth and had to keep my hands super low.

Peebs puts up a lot of my amateur mistakes, but there's some things he had to have his way.  One of those is bits.  After trying countless bits when I first got him, it was decided that Peebs goes in a pelham.  It was a smooth, single jointed short shanked pelham and he has been super happy in that bit. It was the bit his previous owners used on him and they said he went well in it.  They weren't wrong.

angry Peebers

But it's been almost 3.5 years since I got him.  His mouth physically is much better. Three years of dentals every six months will see to that.  He's a lot more educated in the contact now, and while I'd like to think I'm a better rider in general, I know I'm better at riding him. And what I was feeling when jumping was not a happy Peebers. 

and yes, I got keepers for it
So I put him in a plain full cheek snaffle. Same mouth piece as the pelham and I hoped the full cheek would help with some of our turning issues.  I had tried him in a plain eggbutt snaffle when I first got him, but had zero braking ability when jumping.  I'm glad to say that now we have brakes! The first ride in the full cheek was great.  I tried a rollback that we had really struggled with in my lesson two days before and it was night and day difference.

I had a lesson Sunday morning, and was hoping to get my trainer's approval of the full cheek. She did note that he was heavier in my hand during our flat warm up and said I need to be cognizant of not letting him hang on my hand.  But part of that is still me learning how much leg and hand I need with the snaffle vs the pelham. Over fences she was sold.  I could actually take a feel of his mouth and ride him toward the fences, as opposed to being super soft and trying to not piss him off.  I could hold in the short three stride and he didn't flip his head and get pissy.  I could sit and push him around the turns without him trying to fly sideways. It was such an awesome feeling to finally be able to really ride my horse again! There's definitely some kinks to work out as far how much feel I need, and how much is too much, but I'm glad to finally ditch the double reins of the pelham!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

This or That

I'm slowly starting to look for a new horse trailer. Mine is 11 years old and in fairly good shape but Cinder is I'm starting to outgrow it. It's a standard 7' inside height, 2 horse slant load bumper pull with a decent sized tack room. At just over 2, Cinder is almost hitting her head, and once she fills out, squeezing both her and Peebs in it will be a challenge.

Giant baby horse is giant
I know kinda what I want in my next trailer but I'm not 100%.  It'll be a two horse extra tall, extra wide with a ramp for sure, but do I want a straight load or slant load?  If it's a slant, no rear tack rooms.  I think those are recipes for disaster. Bumper pull or goose neck? My truck can pull a smaller goose neck, I just have to have a hitch installed. I'm leaning towards goose neck because I feel they're more stable and less likely to flip if you get involved in an accident. But they're also more $$$, especially when you have to have the hitch put in. I'm also thinking of a straight load but those tend to be rarer up here. Ideally my next trailer would come with a water tank, but I can add that later if needed.   So blogosphere, what's your preferences?

Monday, June 10, 2019

Fits and Starts

It seems like this year my riding has gone in fits and starts.  Starting last fall Peebs had issues tracking/turning/jumping to the left, then we got his stifles done and that helped. We had really weird weather in Feb/March with snow and cold temp and I didn't feel much like riding. Then we worked through the left issue and just when things started to click I went on vacation for two weeks.

Peebs and his new turnout buddy Red

 When I came back I was hoping to get back to a more regular riding schedule.  But work got crazy and I was doing a lot more and was too drained to ride much.  Then my grandfather got sick and I took a long weekend to fly home and say goodbye, thankfully because he passed a week after I saw him.

It's in large part thanks to my grandfather's generosity and financial skills that I have these two, so thank you Grandpa.
But now both ponies are moved into A's barn, work is still crazy but should get better in a week or two, and I'm starting to feel more motivated. Other than flying down for my grandfather's service in late July/early August, I have all summer to dedicate to the ponies. I've had a couple really good rides with Peebs last week and I'm hopeful that we can end the fits and starts and finally really start working.