Fall seems to be creeping in to SD early this year. Saturday was the very best sort of pre-fall day: high blue, sunny sky; light breeze to discourage the bugs; pleasantly warm low-70' temps. It was lovely.
We didn't ride, but did spend some quality time with the four-feets. After a summer of riding bitless, I'm contemplating transitioning Sunny back into a regular bridle if for no other reason than I might at some point actually decide to dabble in a show or two. He can at least tolerate wearing something reasonably comfortable when we're not trail riding!
I have half a dozen different snaffle varieties from Myler pinchless, comfort-types to french link, O, D, and full-cheek varieties. (All true snaffles, with no shanks.) He's been equally annoyed with all of them. It doesn't seem to be a teeth thing, or a me-thing necessarily, so I thought I'd at least try a curb and see if that worked any better. Anyway, since T is using my "very mild grazing curb" with Rufus (who is completely happy with it), I ordered another "very mild" short, swept-back-shanked, grazing curb to try on Sunny.
He was unappreciative. Very! Many gagging faces and much slobbering ensued. I just let him wear it for a while without riding, figuring it was best to see how he'd carry it and let him get used to it for a bit (no pun intended!). I'll give riding in it a try once I've let him wear it a couple of times.
While he slobbered, T did leading exercises with Amyra and I fussed over the mares - shadowed by Thunder (4 year old gelding), who couldn't see why HE didn't get any attention, thank you very much! So when Sunny's time with the nasty metal thing was up, I figured - well, why not see what Thunder made of being bridled.
Clicker in hand, I asked him to touch and then open his mouth for the bit. Here's why I love the clicker - within 2 minutes he was happily lowering his head and opening his mouth to take it. Once he was comfortable accepting it and letting go, I actually let him wear it for a few minutes at a time. Many more funny faces ensued.
Notice, he doesn't actually look put out at all - just slightly perplexed that he can't spit it out.
His half-sister Star (6 year old mare) also got in on the fun. Although she was less thrilled with the whole works. After accepting it twice she had to go away for a few minutes and think about it, ultimately she determined that being clicked for taking the nasty thing was worthwhile. She walked over to where I was fly spraying one of the other mares and hovered until I noticed her again. When I offered her the bit, she took it nicely.
Considering neither Thunder nor Star have ever been bridled before, not bad. (Well, actually, good, for them. Not so great if you're marking off things they should know by this point! Sigh.)
So that was Saturday with the four-foots.