First Lesson on Bali using the double bridle

This double bridle is taking a lot of thought and preparation. After I re-watched the videos by Catherine Haddad (see last post), I realized that the curb I’d bought had the curb hooks installed pointing backwards, and while putting it on Bali on Tuesday I saw where there was a remote possibility that a snaffle ring could get caught in the curb hook, so I asked my awesome farrier (Steve Mayer) to help me change those around.

So, I walk into the indoor and let James know that he gets to inspect the new tack. And…other than one more twist on the curb chain to make it lie flatter, everything was adjusted well. I do need to dig around for a longer set of reins for the curb, when we are working long and low or stretching, the reins I have on are too short. I need to dig around and find some XL reins. I’m pretty positive I have a set somewhere…even if they will be leather (my daily stuff is all Tack a Tack biothane/beta and can be washed in a bucket).

I just started riding, on the snaffle, leaving the curb rein for the entire lesson, there are a few places where the extra bit might have been causing fussiness, just being there, coming from walk on a long rein to contact to collected was a bit more difficult than usual. Nothing huge, just took a bit longer to get her round again, still just using the snaffle at this point.

Our trot work was shoulder in, haunches in, and half pass, with lots of 10m circles and for the half pass, it was shoulder in a couple of steps, half pass a couple steps, shoulder in, half pass, to really slow it down and control the movement. That worked nicely, and other than my forgetting to ask for haunches in instead of shoulder in a couple of times, it went well. Bali did what I asked for, which was not what I’d been told a couple of times.

At the canter work, we went down the long side, asking for shoulder in, and on the right rein, Bali kept falling out, picking up the left lead, or just doing a flying change to the left lead. After a quick mental rundown of my aids, yup, all of my body parts were in the right place, it was one of those moments when you just have to work hard. I ended up clucking every stride and really working hard to keep her in the right lead, in shoulder in, and I could feel her working hard. On the left it was much easier to keep the canter, but still very hard for her. But, at the end, her canter was really nice. James thinks she wasn’t really bending around my leg (yup). Right is her weaker direction.

So, we’ve found a new weakness. I’ll integrate a bit of that canter shoulder in, haunches in, and back and forth into our canter work for the next few weeks, and she’ll get stronger and it will get easier. It is always interesting when something like this pops up.

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About Mel

Random musings in a riding journal
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