Hello 2021!! (Kids, do not try this at home!)

Discussion in 'The Chatter Box' started by Damfino, Jan 9, 2021.

  1. smlovig

    smlovig Member

    Apr 19, 2017
    Upper Michigan
    You have an excellent writing style and a great sense of humor! I particularly liked the way you described your husband’s reaction - it reminded me of when my husband found out I’d been in labor for 8 hours and couldn’t wait any longer for him to end his work day... Heal well!
    GoofyGoat likes this.
  2. HMNS

    HMNS Well-Known Member

    Jul 15, 2019
    Brown County, Ohio
    I'd love to see some pics of your horses.
    toth boer goats likes this.

  3. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    I had a very nice ride on Pepperjack this afternoon--our longest ride yet actually! I rode him down to the post office and back, which is about six miles round-trip. He's been that direction a few times before when I ponied him off my other horse, but we haven't gone that way since last spring, and I've never ridden him that way so it all felt very new to him. Pepperjack was more rattled than usual but that's not surprising given the excitement of our last ride, and the fact that I've almost always ridden with a friend, and the fact that he really hasn't been out more than a handful of times since Thanksgiving. I haven't ridden him along the road much and never toward town where things are busy (well, busiER--this is Rye after all). He did very well with all the cars and trucks, barking dogs, blowing plastic bags, manhole covers, cows, a mule, prancing horses, deer, and even some wild turkeys! He stopped and looked a lot on the way out, and he spooked at a few things but he's clearly not a runaway, or a bucker, balker, or hothead.

    We had several opportunities to practice trotting downhill and transitioning to a walk or stop on a slope. With stirrups it's so much easier to help the horse rock back and balance himself on those forehand-heavy transitions! When we got back to my driveway, Dusty was racing around, snorting, and kicking up snow in all directions. Pepperjack got high-headed and a little prancy so it was the perfect time to initiate an intentional spook. I reached back, picked up the empty saddlebag, and slapped it down hard on his butt. He bolted immediately, but this time I was ready for him. I had stirrups to brace against and we were going uphill, so Pepperjack was set up to succeed at slowing down this time. And he did slow down. He didn't respond to the reins as quickly as I'd have liked, but when I said "Woah!" he stopped almost immediately. I tried the exercise again but the next time I slapped the saddlebag he just trotted a few steps, and when I kept slapping it he stopped on his own accord and looked back at me with an accusing glare that said, "Well now you're just messing with me!"
    Every horse I ride has to get used to being messed with. :devil:
  4. Goats Rock

    Goats Rock Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    NE Ohio
    Sounds like he is progressing splendidly! (woot) Were you a bit nervous on some of the spooking events?

    My Morgan had a problem with rein response when she was a youngster. I just changed bits around until we found one that she really liked. A trainer and I went round and round on that subject.

    I still maintain a harsh bit may control a horse when it has it in his mouth, but I wanted a horse that responded to more than mouth pressure.
    Hands, legs, body (mine) position all factored in to the horse response. Hauling on the reins isn't teaching the horse anything.
    I ended up with a wonderful girl. She was pretty much non-rattleable!
  5. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    No, not really. I have a lot of confidence in this little horse. But I was on my guard a few times "just in case". ;)

    I use a very mild French link snaffle with half spoon cheeks because you're absolutely right... a harsher bit does not usually give you a better response unless the horse is already well-broke to the bit and you're looking for a lighter touch and more instant response on a "made" horse who already trusts the bit and his rider. I never start young horses in a harsh bit. It has to be a medium to thick, rounded mouthpiece, no leverage, and cheeks that won't pinch and can't slide through the mouth. I really like the half cheek bits they use for driving. They give some outside pressure like a full cheek snaffle except a horse can't get the cheeks caught on anything. I don't like seeing people use full cheek snaffles without keepers on top because I've seen horses get them caught in things too often. I once had a belt loop get ripped out by a bit cheek, and one of my old riding instructors saw a horse get one caught in his own saddle while scratching a fly. Boy did that cause a wreck! The half cheeks are harder to get hung up but provide many of the same benefits as a full cheek or D-ring.
    GoofyGoat and Goats Rock like this.
  6. GodsGarden

    GodsGarden Active Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    That sounds like a nice ride. You have nerves, that's for sure. After a fall like that I think I would have been much slower to try something so new. Great Job.

    I remember a saying "The best bridle is the horse's mind." I've always remembered that.

    Just wondering your opinion, for bits, what would you say would work good for a horse with a shallow pallet? We were always told a thick bit is soft on the mouth but the dentist looked at my horse, years and years ago, and said he had such a low flat top of his mouth that the thicker bits were causing him problems and to get a thin bit for him. I'd been having problems with him 'telling' me things and was manly riding in a halter. We had a thin full cheek, yes the dreaded belt catcher, which seemed to help and has been what he's used since but I've always wondered...

    And how's the face? More color? The swelling looked pretty bad so I hope that went down. Must say I thought of people driving past and wondered if they noticed and thought of you as that crazy horse lady, lol.
  7. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    Well, I don't know that I have nerves--maybe just lacking a few brain cells. In hindsight I absolutely should have made an emergency dismount the moment I realized that horse wasn't going to stop, but optimistic me is thinking, "Well, he's going fast but I'm still on, and he's not bucking or shimmying or acting like he wants me off his back, so maybe we can salvage the situation!" Oh well.

    My face looks normal now. The outside corner of my eyelid is still thick and a little scabbed but it's not really noticeable to anyone except me. The swelling is all mostly gone. I never bruised up at all. I think it's because I got ice on that puppy right away and kept it there for like two hours. If people didn't know me as the crazy goat lady they might think of me as the crazy horse lady--I'm the person most likely to be seen riding a horse to the post office or church. They put a hitching rail up at our church just for me. I guess they didn't like me tying horses to the propane tank.

    I had a mare with a shallow palate, and incidentally, goats have very shallow palates compared to horses and since I drive my goats in bits I am familiar with this issue. There is a large range between thick bits and thin ones, and that's usually where I select bits--the medium range. I personally don't love thick bits and I don't think most horses love them either. We had some very large, thin-lipped Thoroughbreds in college that did well in thick snaffle bits but most horses end up fussing with them. I don't even see many thick bits for sale any more and I'm guessing they fell out of popularity in most circles.

    The best bits I've found to use on low palate horses (and goats) are mullen mouths and French links. I use mullen mouth snaffles on my goats and I had one mare who went really well in one. Mullen mouths have no joint and are slightly curved to offer some tongue relief. The mouthpieces are usually on the thicker end of medium. If a mullen mouth is too mild or makes your horse feel stiff, a French link is another good choice. I really like French link snaffles. They have an extra joint in the middle which eliminates the nutcracker action, and for low-palated horses the extra link prevents the joint from poking upwards into the roof of the mouth. Just make sure when selecting the bit that the joint is a proper French link (shaped like a figure 8) and not a flat Dr. Bristol type link. Curb bits with no joint can also be well accepted by low-palated horses as long as the port is not too high.
    toth boer goats and GoofyGoat like this.
  8. GodsGarden

    GodsGarden Active Member

    Feb 6, 2015
    I snort laughed so loud! I'm so embarrassed! Tying your horse to the propane tank at church! To funny.

    I've never been good at emergency dismounts. But I don't remember a bail when I even had time to make one ... hmmm. That sounds good about how your face is healing. You have a hard head and yeah for helmets.

    Thanks for the response and good information. I never tried a mullen mouth. He didn't like the french link but that might have been because is was a loose ring, did have guards though. We rode most of our horses in french links because of the double joint part.

    Now I have to think of something else to ask to keep you talking about horses ... lol
  9. Damfino

    Damfino Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2013
    Right behind you
    For some horses the French link is too fussy--too many moving parts! I had a mare who went best in a mullen mouth or low port curb. She didn't like bits that moved in her mouth and tended to her toss her head if the bit was too loosey-goosey. She went very quietly as long as the bit had no joints in the mouthpiece.

    I've known a few horses that didn't like loose rings even with guards. Others seem to go very well in them. Sometimes you have to try a lot of different bits to find out which one(s) the horse likes best. I keep a very large and widely varied bit collection for this reason. I've got some that I haven't used in 20 years and would probably never use if given the choice, but I hang onto them just in case I meet that one horse who for some reason prefers that one bit.

    Propane tanks make great hitching posts. They're heavy, solid, don't have sharp edges, and they have those convenient little tie rings on top (the ones the truck hooks onto during installation). ;)
    toth boer goats likes this.