|Satellite view of Huntington Stables, thank you Google Maps|
I purchased this set so I could have a schooling get-up and a show get-up. Since I discovered my free bridle was a Vespucci in Nov. 2013, I’ve been using this as my schooling attire, meaning it gets used 4 times a week on average. Considering this is a pretty cheap set, and is advertised as Schneider’s Saddlery’s “middle of the road” house brand, it’s actually fairly decent. So far it’s held up well to so much abuse, although some of the leather on the martingale is starting to separate. It took a long time to break in, and even now the leather at the buckles is a bit stiff. Unfortunately, I think it will always be this way due to the lower quality. I like the color, which has oiled up to be a beautiful dark brown and the fancy stitch, plus padding makes it an attractive look on every horse I’ve put it on. It fits true to size, and overall, I’ve been happy with the purchase. (more…)
Since my lesson on Saturday, my plan has been to set the tone early and get upward transitions to the canter without serious attitude from Miles. On Tuesday, things were going okay until I went to bridle. I was reaching up to unclip Miles from the crossties and he bit me!
I saw red.
I kept my wits about me and unclipped the crossties before waving my hands in the air yelling “NO!” and backing Miles right there in the aisle. We did a few forward, stop, back maneuvers before I successfully bridled the beast and went into the arena.
I was still pretty pissed, but I channeled my energy into forward, forward, forward. I was actually pretty proud of myself because while I was still clearly angry, I didn’t get in Miles’ face for every little thing and instead we had a good ride where we worked on circles and transitions. I made Miles work, and he didn’t really get much of a breather for the 20 minutes I rode, but it was very productive.
Wednesday I was able to go out to the barn in the daylight (yay for holidays!) and I again went in with a plan. But my plan started from the very beginning, instead of just goals for my actual ride. I didn’t put Miles in crossties, just stood him in the aisle with the lead rope over his neck. As soon as I turned away to grab a brush, he tried to bite me.
This time, I was ready. I grabbed the lead rope and immediately corrected his behavior. And you know what? Throughout the rest of my grooming session, Miles was a perfect gentleman! He didn’t even put so much as an ear back the whole time.
And the only misbehavior during our ride was when I first asked for the left lead canter. He picked his head up, flicked his ears back and refused to walk forward. So I gave him a reminder tap right then, and sent him into a forward march. Five steps later I asked for the transition to the canter and he obliged without a fuss!
It might take a few more times out, but I think I’ve finally got Miles’ number and I’m beginning to earn his respect.