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Monday, August 12, 2019

Learned a Bit Yesterday

We made some changes to the plan on the fly yesterday.  I never got on a horse, but I learned something.

She saddled her Haflinger, and put a bit-less bridle on the mare.  Then I watched her lunge the horse, something I've never done.  She mounted and rode the horse while I held a long lead rope.  I removed the lead rope and she rode in a small area for about 15 minutes.  Everything went quite well, so I once again attached the lead rope and we went out onto the narrow country road.  I walked along with the loosely held rope while she rode the Haflinger.  Stationary earth moving equipment and mail boxes had no effect.  She dismounted and we both walked about 1/8 mile.  Several cars went by slowly and the horse paid little attention.  She called me a "spotter".  I was there to help if things went to hell.  This was only the second time anybody got on the Haflingers back.  A success.

We then went down the road where my Rocky Mountain mare is kept.  We put a side pull rope halter on her for the first time.  We took her to the round pen and my friend lunged and round penned her, explaining what she was doing and why.  Then I did it a little, but less successfully.  These exercises are supposed to help create a bond between horse and rider, but requires some repetition for the human to get a feel for it. 

I then saddled her and my friend rode her with me holding a long rope, and then without.  My mare has never been ridden without a bit before.  The halter kept riding up near her eye, which bothered her  lot.  I'll try a bit-less system again because this one was a bit large for her head.  I may have to stay with using a bit, but more gentle, because when she gets into her racking gate she holds her head more horizontal, and rein pressure will pull the halter up towards her eyes.

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