Well today was my big interview, so after recovering from that, I went out to see Louie for some stress relief. It was too cold to work him and we have no footing, so we did another bitting session, this time standing still for the most part. We started by tying around to each side. First I tied him around to the left, with probably a foot between his mouth and the surcingle. I let him wear that for a minute or two and it seemed fairly obvious that he had not encountered this type of bitting before as he fought with it. At first when I checked him to the side he started doing circles like they all do, then he started trying to back away from the pressure, and after about a minute he figured out to just stand and give with his neck. When he stood for a good bit of time (maybe 30 seconds), I released him, let him relax a while, then checked him to the right. Much to my suprise he was tighter to the left than the right, or at least he protested to the left more than the right. He stood very nicely and figured it out quickly to the right, so after I released that side, I checked him back to the left one more time for a little extra stretch on that side. He only spent about 4-5 minutes total being checked to a side, but this will be able to be increased if needed in the future, especially should he develop a one-sided dominance or tightness. After the tying around, I checked him straight back and up with the sidecheck. He produced a beautiful headset, more that of a hunter than a saddle seat horse, but I think with some work and as he grows this may change.
The one thing I struggled with today was Louie chewing on his bits- he has done this some throughout the time I've owned him, but I really noticed it today. He actually bites his bit with his teeth repeatedly and intentionally and in a grinding manner. I'm not sure whether it is out of boredom, frustration, pulling on the bitting rig, or if something is not fitting well in his mouth, but this worries me a little bit that he does this. I plan to have the equine dentist out this spring to check his teeth, as I am sure they will need some adjustment. Louie also does not like the crupper- just going to put it on he squirms around and clamps his tail trying to avoid it. I think we just need more regular work with it.
We are supposed to have a heat wave (up to mid 30's!) this weekend, so I am hoping to get out and actually work my baby for a change!