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|
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.
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?