Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Attack of the Wild Horn Bag

Any time that you introduce some new piece of equipment to a horse, it is always a good idea to test it out in a round pen on a long line before hopping on board. Today I introduced a new bridle and bit to Lostine. It was the trail bridle that came with my new saddle. I removed the noseband since I needed to keep her halter underneath, and had to punch four new holes in the bridle in order to get it to fit her tiny Arabian head. You can see that the conchos touch the buckles.

The light oil reins don't match anything I own. They were shipped to me by mistake when I had ordered dark oil reins, but I don't have the patience to stand in line at my local post office, so I kept them. The stupid thing about it was that I ordered a dark oil bridle in that same shipment and it didn't seem to ring a bell with anyone that they were sending me a dark oil bridle with light oil reins. Who does that?

Anyway, Lostine threw her head around a short while, but eventually settled into the bit and kept a quiet mouth. Then I slid this monster over the horn of her saddle and left it untied so that it would flop around.

At first when Lostine was walking, she didn't pay any attention to it until she turned her head and could see it behind her.

She threw her head up and lurched into a trot to try to get away from that new thing on her back, but the more she trotted, the more noise it made. She then bucked and lurched into a canter to try to get away from it, and both sides of the horn bag flew up and down with each stride. She was in a panic at that point and I could tell that she was going to wipe out on the slick ground. Fortunately, I had practiced the whoa cue repeatedly in the preceding 20 minutes, so I was able to stop her before she hurt herself.

I then tied her to the fence post and slapped the horn bag around a bit, and then let her stand there while I sang the song, "Getting to know you..."

After that I just rode her at a walk practicing whoa and introducing the new feel of the new bit by pulling back gently and turning her in each direction. At first I had to say whoa, pull back and kick my boots forward to get her to stop. After about the 10th time, I no longer needed to pull back on the reins and after about the 20th time I no longer needed to say whoa. I could just kick my feet forward and sit deep, and she stopped.


Vaquerogirl said...

I just wanted to share a small tidbit of info with you, something you may not know.( Ok if you know already then I apologize) ...the tidbit is to connect your reins to your bit directly- not using the snap. I know that it is sometime inconvenient, but the metal on metal slides and you don't get the same result in your cues with a snap attached.When you have the leather attached to the bit ring you have enough friction to keep a consistent cue.
Just wanted to share that with you...
Carry on!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Vaquerogirl - That's funny you bring that up, because the thought did cross my mind today. I use snaps with my snaffle bits. Is that okay, or are you just saying that in the case of a curb bit I should attach the leather?

Leah Fry said...

Oh a little contrasting leather never hurt anyone. My offside billet is light oil because the new one was just so blasted stiff. It doesn't match anything else. And on my ride today I realized I have a lot of holes punching to do.

Nice bridle. I found a Tucker leather canteen holder that matches my saddle that is very cool.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Try some pure neatsfoot oil on those reins if you want to darken the leather.

Andrea said...

Fun new bridle!! And it's always fun to introduce new things to horses. I am suprised that your old girl acted like that. You would never guess her age!! And yes it is strange that they would send you light oiled reins.

I have light oiled reins and now they are dark. So, they will end up matching one of these days. If you use Needsfoot oil it will darken the light oil too.

And I always use snap reins. It's eaisier when changing different bits with my differend horses. I have favorite reins.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I've got that same horn bag, but in purple. I never thought to desensitize my horse to it, though. Thankfully, at 15 yrs old, she must have been exposed to a cantle bag at sometime in her life because she never paid it any mind.

I think I prefer the light oil leather on Lostine. I think it just is more attractive with her coloring.
But I can see why you'd want the dark oil because it matches your saddle better. Your saddle is just gorgeous by the way.

Did you know that if you add additional oil treatments, the leather will get darker?
I bought a Half Breed Side-Pull for Baby Doll last month and it only came in light oil leather.
Val recommended me oiling it to make it darker. And after two coats of oil, I was much happier with the color.

I think I will add even a few more coatings of oil over the next few months, while I'm laid up, so that it will become even darker.

I like all of my tack for my black and white tovero mare to be black (or red or purple). I think it just looks better. :)

~aka Rapunzle

I've got a little 'ol award for ya over at my place. It's perfect for you (wink-wink).

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I just realized that my martingale is also light oil, so I do have two pieces of tack that match. Had that used saddle still been on the market, I would have had a light oil saddle and all I would have needed was a light oil bridle to have a set.

ranchette said...

good for you on the reinforced 'whoa' commands. Like all the new gear too!

Callie said...

Good job! Sounds like you kept good control and it all worked out. Good advice!

Pony Girl said...

I have heard to use the reins on the snaffle directly, or, to use "slobber straps." I'm no expert, but supposively the leather straps applies a more consistent feel on the bit? My sister's trainer also said that sometimes the snaps can cause a vibration on the bit? Anyway, snap reins are easier, though! ;)
Lostine has such a beautiful little head! I think it's always a good idea to test new things out before you go! My biggest fear was riding my horse in chinks- I thought the fringe might tickle his sides and drive him insane, he's super sensitive. He actually hardly cared (and the fringe hardly touched his side anyway!)

Rising Rainbow said...

I see Fantastyk Voyager already mentioned the neatsfoot oil. It's great to darken reins. I needed to get a pair dark quick at a show and someone mentioned black shoe polish. I had to go over them a few times but it worked. I had dark reins for my class.

Before I put new things on the saddle, I always let my horses smell it first. Then I let them watch me put it in place. Lots of times that will help with their worries about that new thing. Evey now and then one of them will get cute and decide they must take the new thing. LOL