Monday, February 17, 2014

Making Progress

I'm pleased with how quickly Rock has been healing after treating his hoof abscess without veterinary assistance.  I gave him an Epsom salt bath and applied a poultice on Friday when he couldn't put any weight on his left front leg.  By Saturday he was walking well, so I removed the poultice.  However, on Sunday he was limping again, so I gave him another Epsom salt bath, and he immediately began walking better.  Today he is walking normal, but by the way he's hanging his head low and acting grumpy, I don't think he's out of the woods just yet.  He's probably still in pain, despite not limping.

I haven't called around yet to see who can alter my old side pull bridle because of the holiday, but I'll get to that when I can.  Cut-N-Jump emailed me a picture of her bridle to see if I thought it would work as a substitute, but it looked an awful lot like the one I had, but with one thin rope instead of two thicker ones over the nose.  It needed some alterations, so I wanted to look at other options.  Christine had a bitless bridle that was too small for her Friesians and Quarter Horse, and she brought that by to see if it would fit Rock.  It did!

This bridle is different in that is it made out of polyurethane rather than leather, and it has cross under straps.  It also doesn't have a harsh nose band.  Since I was unfamiliar with this design, Christine showed me how to adjust all the straps to fit it to his head, and which straps to loosen in order to get it on and off.

A while later I wanted to try it out from the saddle while my husband was home to observe how the bridle shifts when I pull out or back on the reins.  It was when I mounted that I could see that Rock was still in too much pain to be ridden, so I just flexed his head from side to side.  When I pull on one rein, the cheek piece buckle pops out away from the face, but does not ride up into his eye.  He didn't seem worried about it popping out from the side of his face into his peripheral vision, and I can probably lessen that effect by tightening the nose band.  Since this type of bridle operates off of whole head pressure, I'm hoping it will help with Rock's steering problems too.

I'm in the process of doing research on this type of bridle to make sure I have the proper fit and know how to use it.  

Also, I'm going to try out Christine's horse trainer when Rock is feeling better, and see if he has any insight into Rock's personality and needs, and what I can do differently as a rider.  I think I might have him help me with Bombay's freezing up incidents too.  We can probably set up a scenario just by having one of us ride a bicycle around in the bushes while the other is riding Bombay, like what actually happened the other day.  

Also, Cindy has a stirrup device she can sell me if it helps me to mount on the trails, because I'm getting frustrated with having to dismount when a horse freaks out or freezes up, and then having to walk home to the mounting block if I wish to ride again.  

I'm just loving having a local horse community that is so supportive.  Remember how hard I tried to find people to ride with in Nevada?  Each time I'd ask someone to be my riding partner, their eyes would get big as saucers and the excuses would start flowing.  I always sniffed my armpits after they walked away to see if the reason why they didn't want to have anything to do with me was because I stunk.  Just kidding.  Here in Arizona, everyone seems fearless and understanding.  I jokingly said to Christine, "I think Gabbrielle wants you to ride her," when Gabbrielle was showing a lot of interest in her.  Christine surprised me by saying, "Okay, I'll have to do that sometime."

In other news, I taught Stewie how to high-five.  I tried to get a picture, but he's too much of a wiggle wart.

Great shot of my surgery scar from when I broke my arm bailing off Bombay when he had a rodeo moment as a green horse.


Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, Stewie is ADORABLE! What a cutie pie!
~Cheryl Ann~

Sam said...

Always glad to help and I will gladly ride Gabriel - just let me know when! :)

I think the closest the bridle comes to is a Dr. Cooks bitless bridle. I'm not 100% sure that its the one but it seems to be very similar. I didn't get any history on it when I bought it. On his website they seem to have the noseband lower down, but I'm not sure if that is correct or not? Here is a video from the website:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sam/Christine - Yeah,, that's one of the things I was looking at. I had previously read that the side pulls should sit above the nostril slats of the skull, and then when I did some research on natural horsemanship bitless bridles, they talked about having it sit on the "false nostrils". Any higher is not as effective. Thanks again!

achieve1dream said...

Cool!! I was going to suggest a crossunder style but I've never actually tried one and they can be expensive so I didn't. I'm glad she had one you can try. Let me know if you like it. I've been wanting one but didn't know anyone who had actually tried one before. If it's not a Dr. Cooks it could be a Nurtural bit less bridle. Website is