Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ride 75

It finally stopped raining!  Yay!  So as soon as I got home from work I grabbed my bridle from the car and ran all the way to the back of the pasture (ten acres) to get Chrome.  I had to switch the reins from the halter back to the bridle so I hung it on the fence and did that.  Chrome and Zep never saw me even though I was thirty yards away in plain sight and the goats were staring at me like I was a monster.

Chrome finally spotted me and spun around with his head in the clouds.  He stared at me while I continued to put the bridle together and ignored him.  Then he walked closer, stopped, stared.  He made it halfway to me before I finished and turned to walk to him.  He immediately recognized me and walked to me, then stood quietly while I bridled him.  :D  I'm kind of glad to know he's leery of strangers hehe.

I do have a question that I keep meaning to ask!  Chrome is great about being bridled, but he keeps hitting the bit on his teeth when he takes it, no matter how I try to do it.  It's making him want to avoid the bit and he's starting to pull away.  I don't want him to get bit shy or to become difficult to bridle!  How do you teach them to take the bit without banging their teeth??  It's a D-ring snaffle...

After bridling him I led him to the fence and climbed on him bareback while he stood perfectly still.  It was very windy and a bit cool, so he was fairly energetic.  We walked around out in the pasture, then I had to work on having him stand still because he wanted to walk to the gate leading to the yard.  He hates being out in the pasture.  Too boring I guess.  When he refused to stand still I just did a one rein stop.  He eventually figured out it wasn't worth it and he stood on a loose rein.  :)

Then I walked him to the gate and opened it from his back!!!!!  The gate is built like this |___| so there is no walking around the gate.  I had to stick his head over the gate, lean forward, unwrap the chain, pull the pin and then turn him sideways and pull it loose.  Then I had to move him over (he hasn't learned to sidepass, guess we need to do that) and pulled the gate further open.  I did that until I had the gate open far enough to squeeze through without hanging my knees on either side.  I walked him through, then had him face the gate, leaned forward to grab it and had him back up while I pulled it closed.  Then I walked him up next to the pin and chain (there are no bars on the outside so he can just stand parallel to it on that side) and secured the gate.  Good boy!  I'll get pictures sometime to show you (or video) because I don't explain things well lol.

We rode around in the yard where he is much happier.  After warming up I did some trotting and then some cantering (second time cantering him bareback).  He was great!  He spooked forward once when a tree limb fell behind him in the woods, he refused to walk through a puddle (but we worked on it until he did) and he did not like the gas grill my parents were cooking their supper on.  I told him if he ever made me angry that's what he would smell like... hehe I know that's a bad joke, but I thought it was funny because obviously it would never happen.  This horse so rarely (if ever) makes me angry.

While cantering I lost my phone out of my pocket so we went back up the driveway looking for it.  When I found it I had to get down to pick it up.  Getting back on him bareback is impossible for me without something to stand on so I just called it quits and unbridled him so he could lick the salt block.  The ride was just under forty minutes.  Sorry there were no pictures.

P.S.  I measured Chrome to see what size blanket he should need (76) and also checked his weight.  He's up to 1200lbs!  He's not overweight either because I can feel his ribs.  :)

16 comments:

  1. Congrats on the good ride! For the bit issue, a lot of people don't like to do it but I feed a treat every time I bridle up. At the same time I am giving the bit, I have a treat in my hand as well so they get both. This makes sure that my horses open W-I-D-E as they want that cookie! Has made it super easy to bridle my horses now, they eagerly put their head down and are searching for the bit every. single. time. Including Mia who was a giraffe about it when I first got her. Good luck!

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    1. Oh duh!!!! Why didn't I think of that? I'm beginning to think my brain isn't working anymore lol. I've used that method before. I guess it's been so long since I've regularly bridled a horse that I forgot. I will definitely try it. He has to learn to chew with a bit in his mouth eventually. I might start out with sugar cubes since they will melt if he decides he can't chew lol. Then I can switch to something healthier. :-) Thank you!!!!

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  2. When I got Dee we had serious bridling issues. I'd try to unbridle her and she'd throw her head up and run backward! I had to bridle and unbridle in a stall to make sure she didn't go on a cross country adventure. What I did was a lot of work on teaching her to lower her head on command. The big thing this did was allow me to position myself really well to effectively hold and support the bridle during the process. When I take her bridle on and off I have one hand over the top of her head holding the crown of the bridle and the other on the bit. I used a lot of positive reinforcement and made sure she always knew when she was being a good girl. It sure didn't fix overnight but I'd say she has now gone from being the hardest horse I've ever had for bridling and unbridling to being the easiest! Good luck!

    Oh, let me guess...phone in the back pocket??? I really need to find a good phone holster for riding because if that phone is in my back pocket it always squeezes out the top! I'm so paranoid I'm going to lose it one day.

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    1. Good job with Dee! I've seen horses who are almost impossible to bridle, that's why I'm asking for advice now. I don't want Chrome to get like that. :) My phone was in my jacket pocket... hehe. I wasn't planning to canter so I figured it would be fine. Oops! Luckily it's wasn't broken or anything. It landed in the leaves beside the driveway.

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  3. Your a riding fool, LOL LOL LOL! Lucky you!! Yeah, I would think a 200 fill or just sheet would work. Like you said, it's just the wetness that causes him a problem. I bet he will love anything you buy him. :)

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    1. Hehe yep I'm trying! He is mentally and physically ready to really put the work in now and I'm loving every minute of it. :) I think he will definitely love having a blanket this winter. He was miserable last winter when it rained.

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  4. Forgot to say, I used to use molasses and a cookie when I bit. Kaspin will take the bit without me doing anything. He will follow the bit if I move it and take it too. I can only use a sugar free treats now though. Have fun!

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    1. Hehe your bit is a Kaspin magnet lol! What sugar free treats are you using now? I don't like for Chrome to have too much sugar even though he's not IR. I'm definitely going to try the treat method with him though! Thanks!

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  5. I'm glad that you had a good ride and what a good boy Chrome is! I think you already got good tips on the bridling, so not much help there.

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    1. I did get good advice! Thank you for commenting anyway. :D

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  6. lol Chrome burgers... glad you had a fun ride! re: bitting, i hold the bridle in my right hand and the bit in my left palm, and use my left thumb to press on the horse's gums to ask him to open his mouth (and the right arm is there to keep his head down). then pop the bit in!

    if he's resisting opening his mouth and/or trying to stick his nose way up, try bringing his head around to the side, so your back is against his left shoulder. this is a gentle way to keep him from lifting his head up high, and usually helps green horses figure out what you're asking

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    1. Chrome burgers!! You have me giggling all over again. :D

      That's exactly how I hold the bridle. He used to keep his head down without me even having to ask, but after bumping his teeth a few times he now raises it, but I'm so tall he can't get out of my reach. I''ll try the bringing his nose around. I've heard of that but I've never tried it. Thanks for the reminder!!!

      Oh and he's not really resisting taking the bit. He opens his mouth with his head down and then it bumps his teeth as it's going in... maybe his canines? I'm not sure. Poor guy! I know it can't feel good.

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  7. Mints are my go-to for getting horses to search for the bit. Just hold the mint on your palm, with the bit on top of it, and they open wide every time.

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    1. I have to try this! I used to do it when I was a kid, but I haven't bridled a horse regularly in so many years that I totally forgot about it. Thank you!!

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  8. Dickie was a bugger to bridle in the beginning. He still goes through phases and usually I find out that he has a new tooth coming in. New teeth come in until six. Getting the right bit made a big difference. He's very opinionated about them. And he prefers his Micklem bridle. Dickie the princess. You might try a drop noseband.

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    1. That is a good point about the teeth coming in. I totally forgot that he will have more. Thanks for the reminder! I have the noseband so loose it doesn't really do anything. What does a drop noseband do?

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