For the last couple of days Red had been looking downright mopey. No signs of physical discomfort. Could it be that his love Coal is gone from the general pasture? Could it be that I've been using a BIT since the buddy sour espisode on the trial ride? Definitely not a happy Red Horse.
Why, after almost two years of riding bitless, am I using a bit? Actually I am not particularily pleased with this myself. There are two separate reasons. The spooky behavior is one reason - not a good one. The other reason is I'm wanting to work with Red on his balance and self-carriage. Our Dr. Cook's bitless does not seem to effectively promote poll flexion. I just purchased a Richard Shrake full cheek snaffle. Actually, what I'd really prefer to stay bitless. Maybe Sydney over at Science VS Tradition can offer a few pointers. Sydney is about to graduate with a degree in equine science and is a dealer for the Nurtural bitless bridle. Think we'll ride over to her blog with a couple of questions about collection and bitless bridles. Meanwhile . . .
One day later: OK, so we had a talk. Please don't think I'm a total whack job. Well, maybe I am just a little bit. I laid it out for Red, I just can't keep fighting him over plastic bags beside the lane. If he won't respect our communication via the bitless bridle, I'm committed to using a bit to get and maintain his attention. We went back to our Dr. Cooks for one last try. Yesterday Red was outstanding. Today we went a bit farther down the road. Again, outstanding. You don't think it might be our little deal? No. Couldn't be - could it?