From Endurance to Dressage
I am sure you're ready for to me move on to another topic, but this bit thing has really got me going. As I re-read more of the Myler's book, A Whole Bit Better, I ran across this little gem:
It may be a simple case of his leaning down onto the bit, dumping his weight on his forehand and subtly increasing his speed; or it can be much worse, with a horse violently resisting, locking his jaw and bolting out of control. This resistance is caused when the horse takes on a more aggressive approach by building his own pressure against the bit, ultimately trying to take the rein pressure away from you.
Precisely! That is exactly Izzy's MO. He frequently looks to get the upperhand, but not out of nastiness. He's pretty laid back as a general rule, but work is not really his favorite thing to do. He hasn't yet figured out that resisting and bolting lead to more work, not less.
The correction bit doesn't let Izzy lean on or grab the bit. It gives me excellent stopping power, but it rewards Izzy with a comfort zone when he relaxes his poll.
For the past three weeks, every ride on Izzy has gotten better and better. I will give most of the credit to the change in bit, but having Speedy tied to the fence as a confidence builder is also really helping. So what in particular has improved?
If you're on a less than easy horse to ride, keep working the problem. I am pretty sure it's worth it!
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%