Well, after some serious consideration, I have decided to try going bit-less! I have a side pull bridle on order but, why wait?
After getting Willy saddled up today, I decided to not put on his bridle but to simply ride him in the halter, using the lead line as reins.
I was pleasantly surprised! Willy was a more relaxed horse than he usually is. His ‘whoa’ was much more responsive than at any time before! In fact, simply lifting the reins and saying ‘whoa’ was usually all it took today for him to plant all four feet! Neck reining was the same, and direct reining was also very good.
We did have one little, five second, rough spot. I had ridden Willy into the brush and was working him with a lot of direction changes. As we came down one gentle hill, Willy kind of pitched a little fit. I’m not sure why he pitched his fit but, he did. Afterward, he was kind of keyed up for a minute, until I stopped him. I let him do a little weed diving and all was good after that.
All in all, I worked with Willy for about two hours today. The video is selected segments of that work. It starts in the round pen and finishes with our ride in the brush. Willy’s little hissy fit is in there too. The video is just over 17 minutes long.
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