On Friday, Kelley rode Cally, and brought over the “locking” snaffle she’d mentioned for us to try. She rode in it, and said Cally didn’t object so I was looking forward to trying it to see what she thought, particularly over fences. So this morning I got out early to meet up with the farrier, and try it out.
I only hacked around very lightly to warm up, and she felt OK on the flat–not as good as with the plain copper-bean Frenchlink, but vastly better than the Waterford. I’d just set two fences, one an X, one a little vertical around 2’3″. I trotted the X initially, then asked her to halt at the end of the ring. It wasn’t perfect, but I wasn’t either; I got a little ahead to the fence, so we turned and trotted back around, landing in a lightly forward canter, then cantered on around to the fence again. Back to the trot, we approached the vertical, with way too little trot, and knocked it down. I hopped off to fix the fence and handed my phone over to Susan so she could video a little. We came back at the trot again, this time more forward, and it felt much better, and looked better, too!
We then changed directions and came around again, from the canter off the left lead, which is usually her more difficult direction. We got in a little long, but quietly, and circled nicely. The next time around, we managed to add to the fence–well, she added to the fence, I jumped head of her at the point I thought she was going to leave long, and it was a bit ugly, but I was so thrilled with her! So I’m choosing to include the video of us leaving a little long, because it was less ugly.
I need to ride in the bit a few more times to really figure out what I think of it. It works fine, but I don’t know that it works any better than me actually riding decently to the fence in the regular Frenchlink. If I had the money to blow, I might pick one up, or if it wasn’t so expensive, but I’m just not sure the benefit is worth the price, when the real solution is probably to consistently not ride like a cracked out monkey.
Then it was time for fancy new shoes. I hadn’t actually been able to be out for the farrier in a few resets, so it was nice to touch base and see where we were. The angles on her front feet are looking very good, but the heels are coming along slower. Really, they’re more of a permanent project. But we decided to go one more cycle before we put her hind shoes back on for the real competition season, since other than Saturday’s cross derby, we’ve just got one dressage show between now and the next shoeing.