I’ve lost track of the time. We’re around 6 months of breaking the buck out of Calypso. The last post, Part 3, I mentioned the bit being a distraction for Calypso. So we tossed the bit and went for a side-pull. Actually a drop nose band with reins.
At this point the ground training has been solid and clear. There is no need for a bit. Calypso turns as requested and stops verbally so tossing the bit isn’t a problem. I am pleased with Calypso’s focus going back to her trainer instead of on the bit. It’s little things like this that you need to watch for in your training. Something as simple as a bit was distracting Calypso from her trainer. The bit wasn’t hurting her in any way. It was taking her attention away from what I wanted her to focus on. Sometimes the little tweeks and twists in your training aren’t necessarily going to be something hurting the horse, just something unnecessary or counter productive.
We are continuing her routine everyday. The only difference is my daughter is astride her more often now. She still does ground work especially when showing Calypso something new. A horse will do what you want if YOU get it across to him/her so they understand what you want. Years of misunderstanding and abuse cause horses to rebuff or ignore requests. Calypso is performing above and beyond my expectations.
The video below is my daughter warming Calypso up by lounging her at a walk and a jog.
Calypso is no longer focused on a bit. She enjoys a natural mouth and she works fine that way.
The next step….loping. This will be interesting!!
Until tomorrow, Happy Trails!