I swear, I didn’t realize he was sticking his tongue out when I took that.
We had our first eighty-degree day today, and I had planned to ride and give him his first bath of the year. I suppose a batting average of .500 isn’t bad. I did get him groomed (with lots and lots of hair) and tacked up, and we went out to the ring. Lucky is not normally fussy, but after a few minutes of walking on the ground, he started flipping his head hard enough to yank the reins out of my hand. I thought it might be that he’d gotten upset about my dragging a pole next to him to move it (the sound seemed to bother him) or the first flies of the season (I had to fly spray him for the first time this year, too). When I got on, he walked off, but the head-flipping started again. I tried readjusting the saddle in case something was pinching, and then I tried shifting the bit. That was when I realized when he chewed on the bit, I could hear a loud click that I usually don’t. When I got back on and the problem didn’t resolve itself, I figured I would give it up for the day.
Now, he just had his teeth done. And I’ve always thought the rubber mullen mouth was a little big for him, but I haven’t found a smaller version or a bit that works as well. Now I’m wondering if, when the dentist did his teeth, the area where the bit rests changed. I’m going to try with one of the other bits I’ve used on him (the copper D or the kimberwicke) and see if a narrower bit makes a difference. If it doesn’t, I might need the dentist to look again. Or maybe it WAS the bugs. We were surrounded by tiny flies today, and I didn’t put roll-on in his ears. I’m fairly sure we’ll get at least one more frost before it really warms up, so maybe there’ll be a cold snap and they’ll all get zapped. I can dream, anyway.
It did not interfere with my plans to give him a bath, though. We had several months of dirt to get through! Not to mention all the hair. I used the Vetrolin, which has soap in it but also would give him a nice liniment wash, too. The end result had him vaguely reminiscent of a Curly while he dried, but the toweling-off got more of the hair, and I’m sure he felt much cooler! I even thinned his mane (not a real pulling) to get some weight off his neck. I let him graze on the line for a bit to dry, but I’m sure he wasn’t completely dry before I put him back out. He probably found himself a nice patch of mud as soon as I was gone.