Thursday, July 29, 2010

Flash Friday

Okay, okay, it's Thursday, and no, I didn't mean THAT kind of flash...

Ms. Morgan and I had a battle of wills tonight. It wasn't pretty. I think that part of it comes from me. Something happens when I get my ride times....I get nervous....really nervous!! We ride at 11:30 and 12:32 on Saturday. Gulp! Plus, I know three of the riders in Intro A and 4 in Intro B. All amazing riders. THAT makes me nervous too. I don't know why I can't get it into my head it needs to be about me improving. Not about me winning. That can come later, I just started riding again.

The Morgan just wouldn't accept the bit tonight. She kept taking it away and going above the bit. I tried for a while to get her to relax and to drop her head, but she was just so, so resistant. I'm going to blame part of that on the small children who ride her and yank on her head. I decided to introduce Ms. Morgan to the flash. I've never used it on her, and I don't think that she's ever had one on. It immediatly made a world of difference. She was so light that I had to practice for a while to be able to connect with her without having too much pressure. I usually get a full upper body work out from half-halting her. Good thing is, she seems MUCH MUCH happier and was very, very willing. Bad thing is I have no idea how to ride her now. Lol, we have a lot to work on tomorrow, and normally I don't work her very hard the day before a show.

In Thoroughbred news, she was convinced that I was trying to kill her tonight. How DARE I take her into the barn and put her into the cross ties. Torture!! Pure Torture. She had to stand still for a whole 15 minutes while I groomed her and did her feet. She was so unhappy. Dinner was a meer 3 feet away and she wasn't allowed to go into her stall. She was pretty upset, and it was pretty hilarious!!!

Tomorrow I'm having show and tell with my students at work. I'm bringing in my measuring stick and we're going to find out how many hands they are. They, in all their cutness, spent 10 minutes trying to CONVINCE me that I should bring Denali in for show and tell. They were going to pick grass for her and then tie her to the bike rack. The other teachers thought it would be "so neat!" I asked them about their experience with horses, and the types of horses that they've been around. You know, safe, sane trail horses....I then explained to them Denali....needless to say the other teachers agreed with her staying at the farm. I do wish I had my own truck and trailer and the ability to bring Morgan Monster to meet the kids! She'd love it, and it makes me sad that most of them have never seen a horse. I don't know what I'd do without them in my life!


Anonymous said...

Bit problems can be due to a lot of things - bad experiences - people pulling on her or hitting her in the teeth with the bit when putting in it/taking it out, dental issues, chiro issues affecting head and neck. If she was fussy when bridling and when under saddle, I'd suspect a dental issue.

I'm not a big fan of flashes - they just keep the horse from telling us that there's a problem when we need to know that there's one in order to help.

Good luck!

Laura M. said...

I wonder if the flash changed where the bit sat. One of the geldings I'm riding right now has a funky bit seat and he's hard to keep happy with his bit.

Denali's Mom said...

No, I agree, I am not a big fan of flashes either. That's why I had my custom bridle (which I just sold, yay!) made without one. Ms. Morgan has been a lesson horse for a good part of 7 years, and has an attitude a mile wide. She does seem a lot happier with the flash on, and a lot more relaxed. I wonder if small children clinking the bit around in her mouth made her sour, I don't know. What I do know is that i could definantly feel the differ. She is very opinioinated.

Ms. Morgan's teeth are good, just had them checked. If I wasn't dirt poor I'd get her a massage, but instead I've been doing it from what I learned from one of those videos I rented. Don't I sound like a BYB. :)

When you use a Kimberwick or a more stable bit she's more content. It's the snaffle she doesn't seem to like moving around. Who knows. I'm going to ride in her today with the flash and see what differene I notice.

Capilet said...

Dressage is definitely about self improvement, let me tell you! Cayenne and I had a go-round last night too.

As far as the bit/flash issue, what type of snaffle is she ridden in? If she likes the stability of a kimberwicke she might be happiest in a baucher or full cheek (in keepers). Some horses also really like a drop noseband, obviously not super tight. Both Cayenne and my friend's Morgan gelding Cabo do wonderfully in a drop.

Denali's Mom said...

It's a loose ring. I think most of her problems honestly stem from 12 years being a Carriage horse, being beaten into keeping her head as high up as she can. That's why my trainer asked to buy her, she could tell she was super unhappy, and uncomfortable. She stresses out, and has built up all the muscles under her neck, so building up her topline is a bit of work to say the least. The flash isn't tight, it's just "there" I would like to try a drop noseband, but not so much in the budget at the moment! :)

Capilet said...

Angie is similar with the under neck muscle, and even Cayenne will do it at times. Her neck is MUCH better this year from a good while of consistent work in proper frame. Angie used to like a flash for bit comfort as well, but has recently grown out of needing it (shes a late bloomer that one).

What size bit does Teak wear? I might have a full cheek that would fit her (you could just borrow it, so no $$), bauchers are sadly rarer and I only have Buckley's. He's a major fan of stability too, goes in a KK baucher (one of the hardest bits to find of course, little brat that he is). I actually sold my extra drop to a friend recently, but you see them sometimes on ebay, or I know someone in CO who wholesales the Bobby's brand as well (saves $$ for sure). Wish I still had one I could loan!

Denali's Mom said...

That's just it, I'm the first person to work with the Morgan who consistently rides her and (tries) to require her to use her back muscles, and neck muscles properly. Years of doing it the carriage horse way have made her sour. It's hard to tell why she goes above the bit, mostly because she is stubborn (key word, and there is no way to describe it.) We tried a baucher, and she HATED it!! It totally didn't work for her at all, and so we changed it out for a loose ring snaffle. It will just be a matter of time before she starts trying to fight me. She can fight little kids and get out of doing work, so I really feel like it's a bad habit more than anything else. Saddle fits like a glove, teeth checked, I give her massages, she does some good rolls each day. I think it's really, really bad habit! She's not an easy pony to ride wich is why I think I become so frustrated with her, but I am learning a ton. When the little kids ride her they don't make her work in frame (and they are at the level that they need to work her in frame) if any of this makes sense!!

Val said...

Try the French link snaffle.
I have had very good luck with double-jointed snaffles (one with a round bean and the French link). Some horses will not tolerate the nutcracker action of a single-jointed snaffle, or, depending on the size of the mouth, the joint may hit the palate.
If your horse has been ridden crudely in lessons, than her mouth is probably very sore. She is either protecting these sore areas or the soreness makes her jerk her head away from the pressure.
Hope this helps.