Thursday, October 3, 2013

A Case of the Crazies

My new girth arrived mid-week last week. Of course I had to go out to the barn and try it out immediately.

So much fluff! Woolbak errythang.

Q loved it.

How do I know this? I tacked her up, tightened it up, and then she proceeded to stand licking and chewing for many minutes.

Licking and chewing

Yes, the pad is overly large for the saddle. It was purposely ordered ages ago to be this way so that the cantle pack I use can rest on the pad and not on the horse.

On this day, as exhibited above, she also wore her newly re-tied (had to tweak a couple things) halter-bridle I made for her. Blaze orange, of course.

Sooo unamused with this photoshoot

The design is a rope halter with a rope bosal over the nose that - when reins are attached - will be tighter in response to pressure. Its much like the bridles I've seen used in many South American riding culture and some others around the world. Q adores this, too.

I'd planned to do hill sprints this night, but figured I'd best put on the Wintec for this as it has a crupper attachment and D-rings for breast plate. Additionally, I'd have to put her bridle on - with plans to use the corkscrew snaffle as she completely ignored the full cheek last time in her efforts to return home! However, once I saw her all set up in the new tack I just had to get on and ride her in that instead. I just figured we'd tool around for awhile and see what came of things.

Well, before I knew it we were sprinting up our hill in the treeless saddle sans breastplate/crupper/bridle/bit.

She. Was. Amazing.

She's so much more content without a bit. It surprises me more and more how well she does in this halter-bridle I've rigged up. We've done many miles on the rail trail in it, jumped in it, and now hill sprints - the thing I figured we'd never do because she gets all fire-breathing-dragon on me during those.

Instead, in a bout of craziness on my part to let her sprint in this get-up, she proved me wrong. She listened better than she ever does in the bridle. We didn't fight about things. Sure, the saddle did slide a bit, and I do plan to resolve this issue with some d-ring rigging, but the bridle? Not unless we're flatting and doing dressage work and perhaps on occasion with some jumping.

I know the bitless, treeless, barefoot crowd trends toward the crazies of the world, but damn does it work for this little mare of mine. Do I advocate this trio of methods for everyone? No. Well, the barefoot I do. But I will be the first to admit when in discussion about barefoot methodology that it IS time consuming and it DOES take effort on the part of the owner to keep up with it. To me though, these efforts are 110% worth it. The bitless/treeless? Not for everyone. Not for every discipline. Not for every horse. Kinder? Perhaps. I truly think it depends on the rider/trainer though. As those have said before, if it was the next best greatest thing everyone would be utilizing it. All that matters for me though is that all of this works terrifically for my wonder-mare and I.

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