Monday, July 16, 2012

Proper Use of Equipment

As y'all most likely are aware, doing BN cross country at racehorse speeds is generally discouraged. It's for a variety of reasons, but it generally boils down to the fact that it can be quite unsafe for horse and rider. We all know that Cuna is the world's safest jumper and would probably be fine, but since the rules are made to accommodate horses-not-Cuna, it was time to get some brakes.

I wasn't just blindly grasping on this point--since my old man has been around the block more times than I have, I happen to know what bit he used to go XC in. 

Object in picture is larger than it appears
I'm still being overly careful about his legs. Since heat+sand+boots=rubs, the old man is going exclusively in polos. We'll see how much longer I can stand all the wrapping, unwrapping, washing, and re-rolling. There is definitely a reason boots were invented.
So handsome

For various reasons, I'm not using my regular bridle. I bought this one back in March with Cuna in mind, but then hated how it looked on him. I think it's grown on me--with the giant bit, he looks like a mean bastard horse in a motorcycle gang. Win! It's a good look for XC anyways.

The bit is a happy mouth mullen pelham that I'm using joiners on. It is a long-term goal of mine to learn to ride with two reins, particularly for show jumping, but there is no way that will happen in time for the horse trials which are the first weekend of August. 

Don't let the wet marks fool you. He's not that sweaty just walking. Since I was riding around mid-day, when the bugs are bad, he's completely drenched in fly spray. It really does help.
That poll is starting to flex. Yay!

I borrowed a broken rubber pelham for our first show together. It went sideways because I was afraid of the bit and didn't know what to do with it. I'm determined not to have that happen this time around. We are using this bit/bridle for all things jumping and hacking from now til August. He's actually fine with it, but I need to know how to use it and how it changes my ride.
Say Cheese!

Cuna, of course, thought it was completely ridiculous that such an innocent old man horse would need a contraption like this on his head. I mean, it's he all soft and responsive and good all the time?

Ha. Most of the time, Cuna. Only most.
Teeny lil jumps

 Since there were some nice and inviting jumps already set up, we had a go. As you can see, he was not terribly impressed by the bounces.

The feel wasn't terribly different, but the leverage definitely gave me some stopping power after the jumps. Interesting. 
You can say it. We look good.

And yes, this is what I would define as 'an inviting little jump' for us right now. It's a 2'7"ish vertical. Conveniently, that's the BN max height.

I like this picture. Our eyes are up and forward. My release is good, his ears are pricked, and his knees are square.

Almost as exciting was the ride after. We were headed for the gate and home, and he landed running. Thanks to a definitive ride and a new giant bit, he came back to me in just a couple strides instead of the whole length of the arena.

Just a couple strides? You mean like we could maybe actually balance in time for a related distance? Like on a novice course?

Oh my.


  1. Hahaha that bridle does make him look badass. You guys look rock solid in the jump photos - and you have buff arms girl! Nice that you found a bit that gives you the extra leverage without making Cuna bitter. Also, what about using boots with fleece lining? Would those not prevent the rubbing?

  2. I'm learning that P2 needs some breaks installed over fences... we might have to send away for something like your bit. LOVE rubber pelhams, little bit more leverage without shredding your pony's face. Hope it's the right solution for you guys!

  3. I just want to click LIKE! over and over for this post.

    Awesome :)

  4. I always rode with a stronger bit cross country. Even my "ace" jumper could get carried away out on course. Did all kinds of show classes in a snaffle, but out in the "wilds" of the cross country, on went the kimberwicke.

    Glad you found the right bit for Cuna.

  5. Can I just mention again how awesome you look?

    Also, badass bit ftw. Y'all are on your way to a level of eventing awesomeness that is legend.......wait for it.....DARY.

    Love you guys. <3


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