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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Bitting Miss Ellie Part 2

As I wrote back in December, bitting Miss Ellie has been an ongoing journey to figure out what will work best for her.  Armed with a little Christmas money, I ended up ordering a Neue Schule lozenge eggbutt from Hastilow, the 14 mm bridoon style, for $205 shipped with a 30 day return policy (I'd just have to pay 20% of the bit in exchange for trying it).  

I like the smaller ring on this bit as well for her tiny face
Well, that was a mistake, because the minute it arrived in the mail, we went into a deep freeze and there was no effing way I was riding in -20 degree weather to test a bit.  And because I just checked the website so I could link it here, I see that in actuality the return policy is only 14 days, not the 30 days I had in my mind.  Soooooo, guess we are keeping it!  LOL!  I should have just waited until later on, maybe like, ohhh I dunno, spring time when I am actually riding more regularly.  But clearly I have no willpower and needed to have a new bit NOW.  


Thankfully, Ellie does seem to like the bit.  It fits her mouth well and I think the slightly thinner and curved mouthpiece is better for her small palate.  She was MUCH less chompy on this bit and actually relaxed her jaw for the majority of our ride on Sunday.  It may have only been at the walk because of the footing, but I incorporated a lot of transitions and moving her haunches/shoulders, and she relaxed into the contact quite nicely in comparison to her usual fussiness.  Obviously, the real test will be once we start riding WTC regularly, but at least it was enough to tell me it wasn't a no go because she wasn't completely irritated with the bit.  And let's face it, due to the popularity of the Neue Schule bits right now, I am sure I could resell this one pretty easily and recoup most of what I paid.

Onward and upward!  

This is her post ride FEED ME COOKIES face

Comments

  1. awesome that she seems to like it! bits are so crazy expensive these days - even on the used market (i buy almost all mine from ebay). but... then again i don't usually mind shelling out some $$$ even for something i'm not sure will work, bc they tend to hold their value pretty well for resale too.

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    1. No kidding! They are too pricey! I looked and looked and looked, but there are no used bits in this combination of size and type of NS. Well, let's be honest, maybe if I had searched for longer than six weeks (patience for tack is not a thing I possess), I may have found one LOL. Ah well. But definitely if I change my mind down the road, I know I can recoup some of the cost of the bit since they seem to be popular right now.

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  2. My girls seem to love the thinner mouthpieces too, and I like the shape on Ellie's face. Fingers crossed you get riding weather and ground back soon!

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    1. Yeah, I think it looks pretty good on her little head/mouth! I am DYING to have no ice, but I think I am going to have to wait a few months!

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  3. Her pair ride face looks a lot like my post run “Feed me cheesecake” face :)

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    1. HAHAHAHAHAHA she'd probably prefer a cheesecake instead of a horse cookie come to think of it! ;-D

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  4. Carmen likes the thinner bits as well. I'm glad that she likes it. I think you can tell right away even at the walk.

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    1. I agree! In the beginning, last fall, I had thought Dreamy's thin Stubben French link would be my best bet with Ellie, but she was VERY clear within minutes that she disliked it. This seems like a similar bit with a different link style (and obviously the NS shaped mouthpiece).

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  5. it looks great on her so i hope it ends up working out. I havent bought a new bit besides the two bauchers i bought a couple years ago (yes i bought the same bit x 2 so i could have one for each bridle). I have the loose ring french link for Remus and the two bauchers and that is it. He hates a simple snaffle so always has to have some kind of broken french link in there. I hope you get rid of ice soon :) I want more Ellie stories!!

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    1. Ohhh, I do the same thing with bits; one for the dressage bridle and one for the jumping, since I can't be bothered changing bits at an event LOL!! ;-) I want more Ellie stories too haha!

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  6. I can't believe how expensive bits are! I was super fortunate that my last Trainer had such an extensive collection that I haven't bought a bit in years.

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    1. That is extremely fortunate to have access to a bit collection like that! I am pretty sure with the number of bits in my bit box, I could provide such a service to others LOL!! ;-)

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