Bit of Bother

The weather is indeed very much improved. It’s colder than I think it ought to be in May, but it was sunny and clear, which was an improvement. (And of course cold means fewer bugs, so even that has its good points.)

I think that Lucky is not feeling the love for the jointed Uxeter Kimberwicke. First, he continued to be a butt about bridling, though part of that might be I can’t use my left hand as effectively with the splint on. Once I’m up, the curb action seems to prevent the giraffe imitations he was doing with the D ring snaffle, but he chews constantly and turns his head side to side, as with the Dee. I was trying the Kimberwicke as I think the rubber pelham I have is a little too large (not width of his mouth, thickness of the bit), but the only one I have on hand is jointed. In fact besides the pelham everything I have is a single-joint: the kimberwicke, the copper dee, a jointed eggbutt that is 5 1/4″ and would therefor be too big for him, and a full cheek that came with the used bridle that’s 4 3/4″ and would be too small. I think I need to find a thinner mullen mouth pelham, rubber if possible.

Or maybe I should borrow one of the BO’s Tom Thumbs. I have never encountered a horse less interested in bit contact. I almost wonder if he’s afraid that if he leans on the bit I’ll ask him to run! In the bits with a curb, he limits his head-lifting, but I’m starting to think I could ride him without the snaffle rein. Even at the trot (and the canter, when we get it) he’s going off my leg, but largely ignoring the bit. He’ll turn from the rein if I ask, he lowers his head if I tap the curb, but in general he goes forward from the leg, slows from the seat, and he’s grasping when to move laterally away from the leg as well. He even managed a very slow, very hesitant, lots of encouragement turn on the forehand today. (All right, moving away from the right leg required a bop from the bat behind my leg, and both directions took a VERRRRY long time, but it’s not a timed event, and he didn’t back or try to walk forward more than a step.) He also stretched at a stand-still til his nose touched my boot.

Yes, I did all this with the splint. We stuck to the round pen, as I didn’t want to chance anything where I might need to really have use of my left hand. We even got something of a canter, and it only took two tries for it to be the left lead. I’ll see the bone and joint specialist tomorrow, and hopefully get some idea about when I can start getting some use back.

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