So I bought a surcingle. Don't get me wrong. I don't think gadgets are THE answer. I do think they can help. I've used draw reins on Speedy G, but I didn't think they gave us any long term help. As soon as I switched back to my regular reins,even when riding with both at the same time, he went back to rooting and fussing. I've also used the side reins, and those do seem to help, but I don't use them consistently enough for him to "get" the lesson.
My thinking with the surcingle is that since it is easy to put on, I can use it even on the days that I don't intend to ride. Over the next two weeks I will be wrapping up the school year and won't have time for any kind of real riding. Immediately after that, I'll be on vacation for several weeks and obviously won't be able to ride. When I get back, Bakersfield's notoriously hot summer will have arrived and neither of us will feel like doing a LOT of riding then, either. So, my solution was the surcingle. I can pop it on in just minutes and do 10 - 20 minutes of lunge work on the days that I don't have time to ride, or when it's just too hot to get a good ride done.
Uh-huh ... that all sounds w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. Do you know what my experience with a surcingle is? Yep, that's right ... none! It's a fairly simple device however, and I think I can figure it out. Today was ... DAY 1. I used it with a half pad because the fabric was a bit stiff and I was worried about it irritating him. I fit it first, and then we did some easy walking in both directions and called it a day. Photos (click photos for larger view) and video below.
What I find interesting is that he knows they are there, and he's walking nicely without popping his nose all over the place. I should also note that I switched out the Mikmar Lozenge bit for the Myler Loose Ring French Snaffle. Stay tuned for DAY 2 ...