Anna Blake’s Bitted vs. Bitless post got me to dig out one of my bitless bridle attachments and try it on Zelda. It’s off season so it’s a great time to work on responsiveness, balance and obedience. Bitless bridles don’t let you ride off your hands so you have to ride more off your seat and get your horse really listening to you.
Zelda is modeling a flower hackamore. It’s a variation on the Happy Wheel design with a very small amount of leverage provided by the attachment point. Zelda was happy: it’s much easier to grab a mouthful of grass without a bit in your mouth! As you can see, there was a lot of beautiful tall grass on our ride.
For the most part, Zelda was well behaved. We had one “oh crap” moment when a deer spooked her in the woods, but a bit wouldn’t have helped much in that case. Luckily, she came to her senses and I stayed on.
Today we worked in the ring. It’s amazing how much her lips move when there’s no bit. It took her longer to start working through her back and staying straight but in the end, we had a good ride. I think I’ll keep working her without the bit for awhile — and she’ll enjoy the opportunity to snack!