I’m very proud of the Bit Basic’s DVD. As I mentioned earlier, the horses for the video were awesome. I used a little 2 y/o palomino filly who was barely halter broke. A pretty grade QH, she was an amazingly quick learner—got things right the very first time. I had to do some preliminary work with her to get her to the point where I could start her in the bitting process. I thought that would take several days of two-a-day works but she made my life so easy; it only took a few sessions before she was working fine in the round pen, doing turns and smooth transition; she was accustomed to packing the bit around in her mouth and used to having the surcingle on and ropes dangling all around her.
In the video, we started teaching her how to respond to pressure on the bit, starting with lateral gives—she got it right away and may have even been a little too good for the video (sometimes a little drama is good). She did fuss just a little on the off-side—which made for better video. We progressed to vertical gives with the elbow pull bitting rig and once again, she got the right answer at the very first guess—dropping her head and breaking at the poll when she first felt the pressure, and thus finding the release. In the follow-up sessions she looked like she had already had a full week of training in the bitting process. I sent her home with a good start, light and responsive in the mouth and with her very own Myler snaffle to use as her training progresses.
The second horse in the video was more challenging—by design. I also wanted to show how to use the same process on a broke horse with engrained bitting problems—inverted, head tossing, fighting the bit, running off, etc. Acero was perfectly cast—a 13 y/o ex-team roping horse, used to being ridden in a tie-down, who was very confused and frantic about any pressure on the bit. It took a little longer with Acero to get him to find the release, but he did. With a horse like this, you really need minimally a month of work in the bitting rig—no riding—to rehabilitate him fully. But bless his heart, he tried hard to do the right thing and after only 6 works over three days, I was able to ride him and have a glimpse of how he would be after a month of good work.
And I’m enjoying a Saturday morning at home on the couch, computer in my lap, CNN on the tube, hot latte in my hand. Although I am thankful to have gotten so much accomplished this week, I am glad it’s Saturday and I can kick back a little. How about you?
Until next time,