Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Wet Noodle

Okay, I'll be honest. I didn't actually refer to Bobby as a wet noodle in our ride yesterday. I started off telling him to "Stop noodling. You know how to walk in a straight line."

But that quickly evolved into me saying with great exasperation, "Stop acting like a fucking tripping noodle drunk on acid, mother fucker!" Does that make sense? Fuck no. Was I happy I was alone in the barn when that nonsensical word vomit spewed from my mouth? Well....yes.

Back let's back up to how we got there in the first place.

"fuck life."
surprise! it's actually winter again!

Once I decided I was going to take a break from eventing this year to rebuild my stadium cojones (or just build them in general) and focus solely on showing dressage, I decided I really wanted a fancier bridle than my Micklem to show in. There's nothing wrong with the Micklem--Bobby goes really well in it--but it's brown, and we're slowly trying to class things up over here.

I knew I wanted something with a wide nose band, absolutely no patent finish, and that was about it. Shortly after I started browsing, fellow blogger Cathryn posted a picture of Suzie in a super fancy bridle. I stalked it down after she told me the brand, but I could only find it in a couple Canadian stores and one UK store. I figured, hey, Canada is literally only one lake away, shipping should be super fast down to Rochester.

Ugh, it was the longest nine day wait of my life!

"fuck this snow"

It finally arrived late yesterday morning, and I went straight to the barn to play with it. Bobby hadn't been ridden in almost two weeks at this point thanks to his wonky ass, but we were finally cleared to go back to work just in time for outfits. I don't want to do a full review of the bridle until I use it for awhile, but first impression is that I really love it.

I do not, however, love the bit I bought to go with it. Bobby's been going in a plain single jointed egg butt for the past six months without issue, but I thought I'd try to dressage things up even more by making the bit for this bridle include a french link.

And here we come across the cracked out noodle horse.

those ears are absurd.

I couldn't get this horse to come on the bit, or walk a straight line, or trot a straight line, or bend like he'd been ridden for more than five minutes in his entire life, or do anything ever at all not horsing broken. <--basically bobby.="" p="">
I tried lateral work, I tried backing, I tried half halting to almost a halt and sending him immediately forward, I tried just sending him forward, I tried just halting and flexions. I did all the trouble shooting I could think of, and I was starting to despair because I seriously couldn't even get this horse to walk straight down the quarter line.

Before I let myself get too frustrated though, I got off and pulled the plain egg butt of my Micklem and stuck it in his mouth. The second I picked the reins back up, he was like butter again, like he hadn't ever taken a day off. We did some quick walk work--straight, supple, forward, round--and then off to the trot with the same results.

Fine, Bobby. "The nut cracker action is so abusive!" they say. Bobby says bring it on. He lives for the abuse.

and then surprise! it's spring again.

His canter was super round and active from the get-go which was actually a surprise. As I talked about before, I've been having to get down and dirty to push that left hind underneath him when we first start, but his butt cracking did its job. He did feel a little tight behind going right, but Chiro gave me some stretches he wants me to do for back there, and in my haste to play with the new bridle, I didn't do them before I got on.

Obviously I was happy with that turn of events, but then as we did our walk break, I distractedly (story of my life) let Bobby creep more and more onto his forehand, so when we were ready to trot again, we were basically starting from square negative ten. I went back to trouble shooting, and back to yelling stupid obscenities at my horse, until I finally just hopped off and put him on the longe.

He immediately dropped his head and stretched out into a big, swinging stretchy trot. Durh. Having not ridden in so long (two weeks is so long), I'd forgotten that when in doubt, Bobby loves to stretch it out. After about five circles, I jumped on him again and we had a long stretchy trot to reset the brain switch.

are you sick of head shots yet? me too.

I was finally able to slowly bring him back up to a real working trot, sink my weight into the saddle, and focus on something slightly more exciting than just going straight. We got some good shoulder in and haunches in before Bobby decided he was done with those too. I figured he was tired by this point, so we came back to the walk and tried the haunches in turning into a half pass across the diagonal that Megan suggested. It came out ballin', so after a little more stretchy trot we called it quits.

One thing I noticed was that I need to work on using my right leg more. I'm always so focused on pushing the ever-wandering left hind over that sometimes things on the right are forgotten about. Plus I should just focus more in general. Life long goals and all that.

14 comments:

  1. My right leg regularly goes on sight seeing vacations. Love that bridle, Bobby looks downright majestic!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bobby is such a sensitive creature, he needs his nutcracker!

    ReplyDelete
  3. i love the bridle - and that big fat fancy dressagey noseband is the perfect counterbalance to his ears!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, my horse loves his inhumane nutcracker of a dingle joint bit too. sadomasochistic ponies FTW. Glad you were able to sort it out with Sir Robert.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Mia dislikes the french link and loves her nutcracker snaffle too. Crazy horses. Nice looking bridle!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bobby is freakin majestic in his new bridle...in the snow.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What bridle is that? I think I might have the same one!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Haunches in to half pass is how we improved our tough direction. It's an awesome move!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Bridle is super pretty! I know people love to hate on single jointed bits, but Courage has one that he LOOOOOOVES and is perfect to work on contact with. Of course, we can't use it right now because it gave homeboy a rub.

    ReplyDelete
  10. He looks the CUTEST in that bridle. omg

    ReplyDelete
  11. That bridle looks so good on him :) your posts absolutely crack me up. I love reading them.

    ReplyDelete

If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.