Indy and I got in that next ride since my last post. In fact, we've had four rides since then, including today's - which may explain my lateness in posting the results of my "bit experiment." On the first one I used the Myler snaffle again, like I posted last time, and no doubt about it, Indy much prefers that bit over all the others - Happy Mouth double jointed snaffles and the French link. I'm not sure why, but I'd be willing to bet it's because of the way Indy hates to have his tongue interfered with.
Indy has this funny way of using his tongue to remove bits of food from his mouth - just like humans do after eating. You know how you use your tongue to get that annoying stuff out of your teeth and between your teeth and your cheek? Well, he does that too. His tongue is not quite as well suited to this as a human tongue, but he certainly does his best! He really works at it and continues until he gets it done to his satisfaction. So, you can imagine how upset he can get if the use of his tongue is seriously restricted.
The Myler has a thinner mouthpiece than any of the others, and, for the reasons stated above, Indy prefers this. For the same reason he likes the bit snugly against the corners of his mouth - not tight, but certainly not flopping around. Also, the Myler snaffles are unique in having slots for the headstall and rein attachment instead of their just being inside the bit ring. This gives this bit much more stability in the mouth, with each arm moving independently and only in response to the rein. I think that is probably the major reason that Indy likes it so much better than the others.
For the last three rides however, I used the head gear he really prefers above all others - his sidepull. I think Indy will always prefer bitless because of the complete tongue freedom it affords him. He was working very well too. I think working with a bit every so often makes him stay lighter in the sidepull. Since I do want him to accept the bit and work well in it, I will do what I did with DJ - who liked bitless as well. Do bit work regularly but spend most of the time bitless. I will however, stay with the Myler with Indy. ;o)
These last two rides I've been working on leg aids. So far, I've stayed with rein cues, but I think it's time to advance. Yesterday, Indy was "getting it" incredibly well. He even gave me a few steps of a correct leg yield! It felt great - light and effortless. After the first time doing this, man, were my legs sore the next morning! I'm not sore after yeaserday though, so maybe I can recapture my old form after all. 'Course, it doesn't hurt that Indy learns so incredibly rapidly. We'll be doing shoulder in next time!
Probably won't be riding for a few days though. Supposed to get into the 90s, then a couple of days of rain. It actually sprinkled on us yesterday in fact. Oh well. Things have gone so wonderfully these last few rides - especially his quick response to my legs - I think I can manage to stay pumped for a few days.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th!