However, here's a quick update on Steele.
Or "Mr. Fabulous" as he likes to be known.
|oh yeah. I'm all that and a bag of chips|
This post is about those smaller bits that are still important.
1, Steele stands completely still while I mount and dismount. He waits for my signals to move no matter where in the ring or out of the ring I do this.
2. He is not bothered by me waving my arms about. I can reach forward and play with his ears, I can pat him on the rump and I can reach down and tighten his girth. I found this out by accident- I was playing around on moving my hands and realized that his girth was a bit loose and without thinking I tightened it. It was after that I thought "oh right. I probably should have prepared him for that." However, since he didn't care I guess I did.
3. I can ride him up to the gate and slide the board across and down. We walk out of the ring and around the yard, through the paddocks and stuff.
4. He can do a pretty good turn on the forehand both ways.
And, in the interest of true honesty I can be pretty dim. For a few rides Steele was tossing his head quite a bit. I thought that he was having trouble with the rein contact and that I was not being consistent enough in the contact. Easy enough with a super green horse. Then after a few days and some serious thinking the penny dropped. I realized that his bit was too small and probably pinching. I was going to buy a new one but thought I should rummage through my stuff and found this bit:
I decided to give it a try. There was instant improvement. The head tossing has stopped and the steering has markedly improved. Sometimes I need a slap upside the head. I'm not sure what type of bit this is- the sides move but it doesn't bend like a snaffle. I have no idea when or where I bought it. Perhaps it's one of those things that find their way into stuff when you board. Do you know what it's called?
Every ride is better and more consistent. I'm loving the challenge and trying to figure out this wonderful puzzle I bought.