If I have a common theme with Beaux, it has always been the “Dance of Bit Uncertainty”. Beaux has a low palette and a fleshy tongue, plus some quirks from his racing days that have made bits and bitting a PITA.
I’ve tried a lot of different bits and bit styles in an attempt to help with our communication in the saddle, some with modest success and others were immediately rejected, but none had that “This is it!” moment, closest we have been is with our current bit the low port Kimberwick. I even dipped my toe in the bitless waters and it was about the same experience we had with bits, some were “meh” and others were “nope”. So frustration and overthinking came to the party, and we went back to the “which bit” dance looking for a new partner.
Cue last Monday! I put the reins on the halter and took a quick spin around and while not great as far as polish of cues but Beaux was relaxed, laid back, and drool free. This was after almost 2 weeks of lack of riding and limited turnout due to rain and “cold” (well, cold for Florida) and absolutely drama free. This put the “maybe bitless is the way to go” and I’ve gone back to the bitless drawing board. I got two bitless options in mind, a modified “O ring” with yacht rope and a couple of strategic knots, and a Flower Hack. I’m stopping by the Home Depot tomorrow and getting the o rings and yacht rope and make a DIY version to try out before I invest in the professional one from Knot Just Rope and the Flower Hack from Riding Warehouse has a lot of potential to it also.
So I have a ride scheduled on my day off Sunday, I’ll try the homemade noseband then and see how we do. I am committing the next 30 days to just working on the bitless bridle and working on building up our new lines of communication. I like to think after 30 days and a few rides and ground work, should really let me know if I’m on the right track. I am willing to sacrifice some refinement in exchange for a relaxed and happy horse.
I’m excited for this new adventure, and I am really looking forward to getting back on the trails (yup, I’m going to attempt trails not just on my bareback pad, but also bitless), Beaux and I both miss trail riding, and we’ve yet to hit the trails at our new barn. I’ll definitely blog and get pictures and *gasp* video to showcase our adventures. Until next time, happy riding!