You can only imagine how much my heart sank when I got the call from Johnny to say, he & Jakob were off to Wellington to work on "The Hobbit".
I knew it was happening but the date hadn't been set so I was hoping for a few more weeks.
Also came the news that Chief has been getting plenty of riding out (Yay) but is constantly fighting the bit (Not yay).
This has always been an issue with him from the beginning. Some of it we put down to him being nappy and trying to get back to the other horses. and some of it was to do with him putting his tongue over the bit.
We worked through all that (so I thought) but it appears not.
We picked Chief up today. Got home mid afternoon, had a cup of tea (and a cup of braveness!), wished it wasn't so windy, and went out and saddled him up.
His mouth is sore and raw looking but I tried him with a bridle on. He instantly started biting down hard on the bit. Not just chomping at it, aggressively biting it. So I cranked his mouth shut with a noseband and he seemed to settle once he worked out he couldn't get such a bite.
Climbed aboard, no problem and set him off around our small yard. How unpleasant that was. He was again biting down on the bit, taking precious little notice of me and really tense. Neck short and when asked to turn, very reactive as the bit would have rubbed on his sore mouth.
So at that point I bailed. I am not brave at all and that was not nice. But I decided to loose the bridle and put him in a rope halter.
Did a bit on the ground to make sure he remembered basic responses and had another go.
You can see how tense he was. But it was still 100 times better than with the bridle. And then, after a couple of attempts at being resistant, he started to relax.
And then he put his neck out and his head down. And things started to feel OK'ish.
And then he stretched his neck out, put his head down and even relaxed a bit. I felt his hind leg come underneath him and the stride lengthen. It felt GREAT!!!!!!!!
So while it was all going nicely, I got off. Chief actually looked kind of pleased with himself. I think the plan is to leave off the bridle at least until his mouth heals up and just keep taking baby steps till I get brave enough to take on the big wide world with him.
And then we can work out what the issue is with wearing a bit........