Saturday, May 26, 2012

New Mecate

A few weeks ago I ordered a new hackamore set up.  It took a little while to get it because they had to make the mecate.  Of course, in that time we revisited the clinic and I learned all kinds of things I needed to practice in the snaffle.  So I just switched mecates so I could start breaking in the prickliness of the horse hair.  It is such a different feel, and it takes a coil more easily than my other one did.

Despite the new gear, or maybe in some ways because of it, we didn't have a great ride.  We rode out on the freshly mowed strip, and Bear was not very attentive.  He would go back and forth between overreacting to my legs or just blowing right through them.  I'm not sure why exactly.  I know it was hot and buggy, but those are really pretty lame excuses.  It is possible that I was bothered by those same things and just wasn't riding well.

After we were done, I pulled Bear's tack and put him in a side lot and grabbed Laredo.  Initially I planned on doing some more groundwork with him, but Robin had done some already before her ride and so I decided to just tack him up and practice bridling. 

We spent a long time working on lowering his head and then slowly getting him used to my hand positioning while I'm messing around with the bridle.  First we'd get the bit comfortable under his chin, then we got used to me changing hands on top of the headstall, then we got used to me putting the bit in his mouth (he was possibly the best with that, which I suppose is good), and then I started pushing towards the top of his head and ears with my hands and the bridle.  This is his horrible spot and we did not have a lot of luck.  Still, I felt good about practicing it all.  And he is getting much better about lowering his head. 

But it is also really frustrating to have a great horse that someone decided to cut corners on.  He has a bridle path shaved in, and we assume that whoever gave him that was not very nice about it.  30 seconds of harsh yet lazy handling is going to make for many days of work.  And it will probably be weeks, or even months, before we can casually run our hands around his ears and head like I do with Bear.

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