I really think I need to change Uva's bit, and this has been confirmed by her current owner (on loan with a view to buy) when she came and observed me riding the other day.
She is currently in a KK loose ring lozenge snaffle, and 75% of the time she is as good as gold, she can work in an outline and mouths nicely, but she can get quite strong. If I stick in walk and trot she is fine, but after one canter in the school she has no breaks and jumping is just ridiculous!!!
Hacking however she is fine in her snaffle and I would stick to this bit for that!!
I know the reason why- she is an ex polo pony, and to get to the stage we have has taken me 3 months (before she had 2 speeds, walk and fast!!)
Now I have cracked walk and trot, and can do excellent transitions between the two I want to start work on the canter, but I cant do this in her current bit as she just gets too strong!! I just need to have something to give me a little more control for the time being until I have schooled her, and the aim will be to eventually return to a snaffle.
She has been ridden in a jointed pelham (when she was reschooled first time round) with 2 reins before to great success, but I dont feel I could ride with double reins at this stage.
I have tried a hanging cheek, and a dutch gag on the second ring but they made her rear, and its become apparent she doesnt like the poll pressure. She has never ever reared at any other time.
She struggles with single joints as she has a small mouth and a fat tounge, and seems to find mullen mouths uncomfortable for the same reason.
Im at a bit of a loss at the moment, can anyone offer me any guidance? Im not looking for a quick fix here, and am not definately going to change her bit- am just looking at alternatives! I wont jump into changing bit, and will do my research first!!
BTW she has had her back and saddle checked recently, and the dentist is out this month (but teeth havnt long been done either) so I know its nothing physical, its just the demands of reschooling thats the issue!!
Interesting! i was going to suggest the hanging cheek. Hmm... depending what she's like with the contact you could try a waterford loose ring? If she doesn't like poll pressure , I'd try and change the mouthpiece first before the cheek if yuou know what I mean. What is she like with curb action? If she's okay with that a Kimblewick could be the answer, although I'm not to keen on them myself!
Yeah, she's probably been yanked a bit hard. I've saw some massive shanks on polo ponies! Does she go behind the contact? If she does then the waterfords a no no as it will make her draw back even more, then you'll have nothing in you hands still going at a rate of nots! I'd try a waterford if you could get a loan of one. No experience with kimblewicks I'm afraid, as I've just found them pointless but what I've read of them they may help you!
Someone at my yard has a ex polo pony on loan and she's quite shifty on turns and she fell off and broke her foot, so I ride her a few times to keep her in form. I find it very different from my own wee coblet who's balanced on corners and goes in an outline! She's pretty much swerve here, drop the shoulders, head high! lol. She came in a pelham too, I think she's in an eggbutt now though.
Ahh, in that case waterford and kimblewicks aren't dressage legal. Let me have a look and I'll see what I can come up with. I really like hanging cheek for dressage as Chubbles gets a bit strong out, and this just controls him nicely. My friend put her TB in a hanging cheek and all hell let loose because of the poll pressure, then within a few schooling sessions she got used to it.
Uva can turn on a sixpence, and ive been close to falling off several times until I got used to that!! I did a one rein stop at one point and nearly went out the side as she just turned and carried on going fast in another direction!! I love her though, and with schooling she is turning into an incredible ride, just a bit fast when she gets a bee in her bonnet!! She now goes in an outline some of the time, although can be quite fussy with it (although think thats just inexperience and fatigue rather than the bit)
I cant picture at this moment in time whether she is behind the contact or not- as a guess I would say she is.... but off the top of my head I couldnt say for sure (my brain isnt working!) Maybe I will borrow a waterford and see how she does in that.
The aim would be to get her back into the KK as she goes well in that most of the time- its only when she is adament that she thinks she should be going fast (in the school or around jumps, never dangerously!) that we have any problems! She is a different horse to hack, and will come back to trot/walk with a tweak of the reins!! Wish she was that good to school!
there isnt much you can try that is dressage legal really, a lot of bits arent, and without going itno something with poll pressure your even more limited, i would almost try her in a pelham, and go for a swales pelham (no poll pressure) and ride in split reins or have the curb rein resting on her neck for when you do need it,
or your looking at other curb bits wich is basically a kimblewick or combination type bits with nose pressure, or a kineton noseband, with horses that dont like poll pressure your super limited as the next step up for breaks tends to be poll pressure
does she tense her jaw and igonre you or anything like that casue the other thing to try would be a flash or drop noseband,