Friday, May 13, 2011

Who else has had problems with Blogger?
Okay I can't really say that's why I haven't been here a lot.
Truth be told, I've been riding.
Yes, it's true and I'm just not ashamed one bit.

We have had some beautiful days, perfect to ride. I do tend to be a fair-weather-rider BUT I have plans to change that this Summer. We are finally wrapping up homeschool for the Summer, freeing up quite a lot of my time. A writer's convention, I am attending, will happen soon too and I hope to be so fully inspired....
A fiction, which I've been working on, has 2 main characters that are "equine-centric," and it really helps me get into the character's minds by surrounding myself with, you guessed it, horses. SO I definitely intend on spending a lot of my Summer in the presence of my horse kids.

And being with them doesn't necessarily equal riding.
I wonder if anyone else out there, sits in the pasture with horses and a notebook?
Is that weird? :)

This is my riding buddy on Clyde.
She's 14 and horse crazy, (admittedly so.)
She doesn't have a horse of her own so I am more than thrilled to have her, (a trained and relaxed rider) take Clyde for a spin.
We recently were given the diagnosis that I have anticipated for a very long time. Clyde has "Shivers" a neurological condition that he was born with. Shivers causes a horse to pull up their back feet, sweat, and have extreme difficulty with backing.
The only treatment is frequent work to keep muscles strong.
Having a friend to ride Clyde sure gives me extra peace of mind that we are doing all we can to keep him well.
And now for some other big news.
I am finally going bitless!!!
Rosie has ALWAYS fussed with the bit, excessively so.
The last time I rode she had copious amounts of salivation and was constantly rubbing her face on her leg. It made me so sad to realize the amount of discomfort she must be experiencing. We have tried every bit combination known to man and she constantly fusses. But when I lunge her without the bit, she is focused and r-e-l-a-x-e-d. Ya'll have been talking about it for so long... I guess I'm just slow.
I ordered the Dr. Cook's bitless bridle.
I know Juliette wouldn't steer me wrong.
But now... I WANT your advice.
Have you used the bitless bridle?
Anything I should do to introduce it to my mare?
Have I bitten off more than I can chew? (no pun)
All words of encouragement and/or warning are greatly appreciated!


  1. Having ridden bit less for some years now, I find the horses love it. Less stress for them.

    I introduced it to my older horse, while in the stable, put it on her, and let her get used to it. Pulling the reins to let her know which way is what!
    Then took her into the arena, done the same, at the walk, and gradually built up a week later to the slow canter and so on. Take it slow, take it calm, and relax.

  2. I'd make sure you and her feel comfortable with it by riding close to home or in a pen before heading out. I've ridden a couple of horses bitless - not with Dr. Cooks bridle, but using a slightly modified rope halter and have had considerable amount of luck. Let us know what you think of the bridle!


  3. How exciting about your writing adventures!! And riding adventures too, of course. I know nothing about bit or bitless, really. My horsemanship years are far behind me, but tempted at times to jump back on! Especially when I see your beautiful equines :) -Tammy

  4. Sounds like you're busy. I've ridden with just a halter, but not the bitless bridle. I think if you've done the foundational work and build up slowly, like others have said, you should have no problem. A horse can go through a bit anyway--or certainly throw themselves backwards. It's all about teamwork and communication

  5. Oh Rachel!!!! I am sorry I was slow to get to this post! I will blame Blogger because it made me truly nuts for a week!!! I had the bad luck of posting on Wednesday night, and adding a new page and commenting on blogs and it was all lost!

    Thank you for the kind words on my blog. Wow. What a day brightener!

    I hope the Dr. Cook's works well for you and Rosie. When I bought my first Dr. Cook's, I did not own my horses yet. I was riding another Thoroughbred, Baja, and I bought the bridle for him. He was a quiet 14 year old who allowed me to make sure that the bridle fit him correctly per the instruction sheet. Also, I was able to practice putting it on and off. It is important that the noseband is at the right location above the horse's mouth. They have a drawing, if I remember correctly. I rode Baja just as I would with a bridle and he seemed to love it more than his bitted bridle (he wasn't my horse).
    When my horses arrived, I started with the bitless from the beginning. Both boys responded well right out of the box. The noseband is at different heights because of the difference in their heads.
    The criss-cross under the chin gets twisted occasionally while I ride. I do not like this.
    Also, the criss-cross was pulling Sovey's long winter hairs so I removed that part on his bridle.

    I think Rosie will like the feeling of not having the bit to fuss with all the time. It is good to trust the bridle and think of it like a regular bridle. Keep your hands light - just because there isn't a bit doesn't mean you can hang on her face. Use your legs and seat and keep your reins to the bitless light and taut, but not tight at all. She will love it!!!

    I can't wait to read how you make out with it.

    I do clean and oil it often so the leather doesn't hurt the boys.

  6. Hi Rachel, hope you're enjoying a wonderful June in your pasture with your 4-leggers and your notebook. Sounds like heaven! Best of luck with your writing, keep us posted! :)

  7. Did a bitless bridle workshop; worked really well, but haven't continued it. Love your pictures. Looks like great riding weather. Debi


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