From Endurance to Dressage
That Was Disappointing, But Interesting
This is yet another post about Izzy's bits. And yes, I am still talking about trying to transition him to a dressage legal bit. It's not going very well.
However, putting him in a legal bit on Saturday revealed how much progress he has made in the last few months. Most of the time, I finish a ride and think, yeah ... still not there. We do have great rides though, and truly, our "bad" rides are now the wow that was pretty good rides of a year ago.
Lately, I've been getting some of the best connection we've ever had. Instead of dealing with jackassery, it's been about how solid can I keep the connection? How steady in the bridle can he be? How clean can that transition go?
I finally felt that we were at a place to try out the dressage legal bit again. If you haven't been following this saga, here are the two bits I am talking about. The one on the left is working great, but it's not show legal. The one on the right is.
After a couple of really nice rides in a row, I switched out the steady eddy bit for the legal one. For an hour and five minutes, I know because I time my rides, Izzy chomped and ground that bit to pieces. He simply could not focus or relax.
While that all sounds terrible, and believe me, it was quite frustrating, he told me a few things. First, he was much improved over the last time I tried it. For that trial, I had zero control and ultimately had to get off. He was a runaway freight train. This time, he was tense as holy hell, but I never lost control. That's a win. And progress.
The second thing he told me was that different is very scary. That means different needs to become familiar. Over the summer, Dale Myler, the creator of both bits, suggested I ride in the legal bit once a week to see where Izzy was in his training. Izzy was such a loose cannon though that I couldn't do it. Now that he's under control. I am going to have to force myself to use the bit weekly so that different becomes familiar.
Like I said - disappointing, but very interesting.
9/24/2017 04:28:04 pm
I tried again and Sunday, and it went better. I really need to stick to a once a week plan. :0)
9/23/2017 11:40:24 pm
Sometimes loose rings give way to much information to a horse and they feel like it can be overwhelming. The d, and particularly the rein hooks quiet the rein information. Have you tried an eggbut or
9/24/2017 04:29:57 pm
Thanks for your feedback, Darcy, but I wish it was as simple as eggbutt v loose ring. :0)
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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.
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