I decided to buckle down and actually do a little dressage (ha! as if) on Cuna today. I mean, I can definitely see in our jumping lessons how we need work on balance and lengthening/shortening and moving off my legs.
He may stick his little nose out like a pony, but he can certainly be convinced to do that in balance.
Of course, one of the dynamics of working in a busy barn is that when you have to clean every single piece of tack you use, you frequently are creative about figuring out what exactly you are going to use.
I used this bit on Cuna in a jumping lesson a week ago, and it was nothing short of comical. Plastic bits are silly, in his opinion, and perfectly easy to run through.
However, the dirty bridle in his size had this bit on it today. I figured it wouldn't matter too much because we weren't jumping, and off we went.
It may be a terrible bit for jumping, but Cuna went so ridiculously well today that I'm thinking it may become our go-to bit for dressage. I mean, it didn't turn him into Izzy by any means, but as long as I focused on riding him like the Titanic (long and slow) instead of a pirate ship (short and quick), he did quite well. We had flexion, a little bit of bend, and even tiny leg yields. He was willing to go forward into the contact and we got some nice trot work and even a little decent canter.
Huh. I did not expect that at all. What's more, he was actually a little lighter on his forehand today than usual. Generally I get off after a session on the flat and feel like my arms are dead from carrying so much weight. Not so today.
I wonder if it's because of the bit, the improving weather, my improving riding, or the fact that I can now put my hair up under my helmet (hey, I'm proud of that accomplishment).
I don't know, but as we went back to the barn at an out-of-control gallop, I had a smile on my face.
PS Someone is trying out the pony mare tomorrow. Please pray to your respective deities on our behalves.