Nov 12, 2012

Little By Little

 So I wrote about how we taught B to stand, in the arena, first facing the barn but waiting; next facing somewhat away from the barn and waiting; and lastly facing totally away from the barn, and waiting. We would often would get off in the ring, stand there, do some in hand work, and then take a walk. Anything to break his response patterns. This was so hard for him. He would first shake his head, then stamp, then it would escalate in to a spin or two or a zipping backwards or what have you. We didn’t particularly punish, we just went back to Point A. And waited. He had to stay absolutely in place. He could not take one step out of where we put him. If he did, he was put back. It took a long time, but he got it. I liked the Myler combination bit for these months; it gave us some control if we needed it, but it was so mild when we didn’t. I think the loose ring aspect is good for horses who have been ridden badly, and the little bit of nose pressure if needed helps take away the defensiveness of a wrecked mouth. Bryan, like many OTTBs I have had, had a very low palate and sharp bars. I think the shape of the Myler, with its little protective roller thing in the middle, is much more comfortable for a mouth like that. Regular snaffles can really poke the soft palate; I never use them any more.