From Endurance to Dressage
Well that didn't take long. The first few times that I used the double bridle, Izzy took it willingly, and then worked better than ever. The next few times I tried it, he started to show some resistance to bridling again.
Over the weekend, I spent time just bridling without the added pressure of a ride. Yesterday, he had a full on melt down over the bridle and gave me an impossible to ignore NO.
I did get it on, but he flew backwards each time I tried to bring it over his ears to secure it. And no, it's not an ear issue; he just knows over the ears means it's on.
Once I finally did get it on, he stood there practically trembling, but not quite. His entire body was rigid, and a near panic filled his eyes. No way was I going to ride him looking like that. I gently removed the double, gave him a reassuring pat, and let him stand and recover.
A few minutes later, I pulled out my original bridle with the correction bit attached. He gave it the hairy eye ball, but stood quietly as I slowly drew the crown piece over his ears. The dude knew the difference.
When I bought Izzy, his first owner told me that he was very expressive about his dislikes. Her experience came with a poor fitting saddle. According to her, Izzy had a complete fit about using a saddle that he didn't like. She couldn't get it off fast enough.
This is twice now that he's shown an obvious dislike for a bit. For the first, a thick and gentle double jointed snaffle, it took him months to convince me that he didn't like it. This time, he decided to be more persuasive; it only took him a handlful of bridling days to convince me that the double is not for him.
Before anyway suggests dental work, believe me, I've thought of it too. My horses get their teeth done by my veterinarian once or twice a year. Izzy's teeth were done this past March. While it is possible that something has changed in his mouth since then, I have felt around in there and even taken a quick peek. Nothing seems to be amiss, but I will let my vet know we've had some bitting issues.
The main reason I don't suspect a dental problem is because he seems to like the Myler Correction bit. He packed it around for three solid weeks without complaint or resistance. And in fact, even after having a melt down over the double, he stood quietly and let me put that bit on.
I am ordering a dressage legal Myler bit today. If I am going to have a tack issue, which I'd rather not, but if so, I'd much rather it be bits than saddles. And no, Universe, I am NOT tempting you. Who all has been down this particular path?
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: