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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A lesson and more musings Part 1

Karen has a GREAT post up today, talking about your horses biggest bad habits. Definitely check it out. I'm sure there will be an interesting and entertaining discussion over there...

I am SERIOUSLY considering riding Farley in a hackamore for the second half of the Desert Gold ride, her attitude permitting. She's been doing SO well - usually after the first vet check I can ride on a totally loose rein for the rest of the ride. I will still throw the bit into the saddle bags just in case, but I think she's ready.

I've mentioned this is the comments, but I can only giggle at the thought of me in boots AND a hackamore. One or the other, but not BOTH! When I first started in endurance I looked upon the people doing the barefoot/bitless thing as truly dedicated endurance riders who were also perhaps a bit manic in their dedication.....Now it seems I join the ranks! I haven't even reached my first 1000 mile mark and I've discovered that riding in boots seems to make a HUGE difference in the health and condition of her legs. I absolutely need the control of a bit right now in the beginning, but why not take it out when she stops needing it?

Of course, this comes on the heels of buying the most expensive bit I have EVER purchased. I wanted my french-link baucher back for endurance, so I needed another bit for the dressage work. I have searched the internet and knew generally what I was looking for, but nothing is like holding prospective bits in my hand to judge balance, weight etc. so I headed to the only tack store in the area. Farley is very picky and I want her to be comfortable and happy. I walked out of the tack store with an $80 bit......Made by Stubben, it's a egg butt snaffle with a copper "lozenge" in the middle. The center is a bit thicker and rounder than the traditional french link. There was similar one for half the price by Korsteel, but the bars were shaped a bit different and it was a bit thicker. I agonized and debated for an hour before going with the Stubben. I just knew she would like it better. And you know what? She loves it. She takes contact with out fear and is really soft. Worth every penny to have her happy.

Who would have thought my first 1000 miles would be so exciting? :) I alternate between really REALLY wanting that 1000 mile patch because it means I'm not *such* a newbie, and wanting to go slow and savor these miles that will probably teach me more faster than any other set of future 1000 miles.

Two horses, boots, considering bitless, dressage lessons, starting a blog, and a Tevis attempt. Wow!

This is getting a bit long so the lesson will go to part 2.

1 comment:

  1. No you aren't at the MANIC stage yet. When you start preaching barefoot/bitless/treeless, we will get your nice warm white jacket ready. >g<

    My mare *loves the baucher french link, and I use it for trail and dressage lessons. I have always used a kimberwick on trails, but recently thought "why?" and swapped to the baucher we use in the arena. Worked just fine, and she was very light in my hands all day on the trail.

    That said, I may chicken out and go back to the Kimberwick for the start of an endurance ride, having survived (barely) some starts with too much horse/not enough bit. I could drop the bit entirely on that horse after 20 miles (using the sidepull instead), but at the start I needed a semitruck to keep him from "galloping off in all directions." There are many reasons I gave that horse back to his owner!


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