Monday, July 13, 2009

Stall Bridle

Louie is wearing a "stall bridle" for a day or a few. . . he has been grinding his teeth and biting the bit quite a lot yesterday and today while I rode him. We've been facing this issue for a while, and I can't really tell if this is "baby stuff" or something hurts, or what. From what I can tell, the bit isn't hurting his mouth. He's had his teeth floated with no change in his chewing. Caveson, no caveson, flash caveson, none of it makes a difference. Raising the bit up, lowering it down, trying different bits- none of it changes anything. He's not exactly upset or unhappy with his bits, because he doesn't do it all the time, but it's getting annoying and starting to interfere with our work. So it's time we tried some things to stop it.

Yesterday I rode him in the outdoor, his first time out there. At first he did great- was looking around, etc. But after 2 laps at a walk (yeah I guess that's kinda boring), he wanted to chew his bit and grind his teeth, so I had my husband make some noises in the middle of the ring to get his attention. Well that distraction worked like a charm- Louie quit grinding and chewing on his bit, and started looking around, earing up beautifully, watching my husband, and even spooking he was looking so much! Wow! Well that worked very well, but unfortunately I don't have a body double to do that for me when I need it. . .

Today I rode him "western," which I really shouldn't have. I was tired from cleaning stalls this morning, and just wanted to relax and ride western. Yeah-No. Louie isn't digging the idea of a jog trot. Maybe when he's older he will think that is fun because he may realize it's less work than a park trot. But not yet, he protested that jog trot with fury. We cantered on the right lead a little bit, and he went very fast, but at least he got the right lead, but quit on me before I was ready. The second time I asked him for it, he kicked out, so he got a good spanking. Finally, I asked him one last time, he got it, so we went about half a lap of the arena, then called it a day and went for a walk up the driveway to end on a good note before we had any more problems.

I didn't really want to get into a fight, as there is a show coming up on Saturday that I'd really like to go to. They not only have walk-trot english, but they also have junior horse english pleasure. So, I could possibly do both and give the canter a try, as he's getting it most of the time now. They have walk-trot western, but we're not going to go there yet. . .

Anyhow, Louie's bit chewing is rather perplexing to me, and is starting to interfere with life- I was trying to lead him out of the arena today and he was so busy chewing on his bit, that he wasn't paying attention to my cues to follow me. So, we're going to try the stall bridle and see if that will "get the chews out." He wore it (his padded fuzzy leather halter with a bit tied on) for about an hour today and his chewing really settled down after about 20-30 minutes. So maybe that's all that it will take. Well I hope so- tomorrow will be a full day in the stall bridle for Louie, and we'll plan to work on some driving tomorrow afternoon.

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