The writin's scare 'round these parts

These months have been flying by. I can't believe it's the end of August! Dassah-mare and I have been making extraordinary progress with our softness and centeredness. K-Trainer shifted my derrier forward (apparently I'm a cantel-lovin' lady) and I now have a seat! For 25 years I've been sitting on my bum in the back of the saddle, now I have a deep secure seat - it's like I've been shoved into my saddle. Dassah loves it too - finally her rider is balanced and centered (figuratively and literally!)

For the first two years (or so) of riding Dassah, I hesitated to wean her off her hackamore. She was so soft and responsive, I hated to block the connection I had with a bit. When L-Trainer worked with her we tried several bits before I think I hit on one that Dassah's comfortable with.

First there was the single jointed eggbutt snaffle - Dassah's response. chomp chomp chomp grind.
Then - french link snaffle - silence. a couple rides later, grind. (of course there were other issues like need a chiro)
Rubber-coated single jointed loose-ring snaffle -  Dassah - oooooo this is more fun to grind/chomp!
LOOSE-ring, anatomically-framed, french link snaffle - Dassah: aaaaahhhhh. nice. but how about a little grinding every now and then?
French-link Baucher. Dassah - ooooo yum. froth froth....crickets chirping. NO grind! There's a definite difference between grinding the bit because she's uncomfortable and chewing the bit when she's relaxing/I've done something right in the saddle. :)

I went back to one of my hackamore's during this past summer just for fun and wow buddy, she buried her head in the sand and moved along like a bull-dozer. Granted we were working on riding from the hind-forward and she was dodging what she interpreted as extra work (and my seat didn't help things), but when I changed back to the baucher she really did come up and sit back - a lot less hauling on me and rooting her way around. K-Trainer has been instrumental in working with us - she's trying to make me a better rider (I'm really trying K!) and when I listen and focus and ride, you can hear these sighs from Dassah as if to say, "It's about damn time lady!"

This past week I haven't ridden one bit. I wrenched my back on a high-ropes course and then a tooth abscessed a couple days later and then the first full week of school started so I've been resting up at home and trying to ibuprofen/amoxicillin/codeine my way back to health.

It's so sad because we were really making progress - she was starting to show moments of self-carriage - my "feel" has become better I think, I'm working on softness in all aspects of my interaction with her and when I get glimmers of success, road-bumps become mile-high mountains at times. booooooo. I don't think I have anything to worry about - a couple lbs of carrots should do the trick. ;)


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