Honestly, I'm not sure what my end goal is. I bought this horse just because I liked her, and started doing what I normally do and taking lessons from my pleasure instructor and going to the same shows, but at this point, my goals are changing. I'm getting tired of the pleasure scene, and it's tough to do well if you don't have a QH or an appendix, and a lot of it comes down to who's in the right clique. I also want to jump. My original plans were low level hunter stuff, but Ursula just doesn't quite fit in at the shows I've been attending. Like I said before, I've lined up lessons with an eventing instructor in the spring and want to dabble in dressage a little bit. Even if I don't ever compete dressage, I think it will help us in other areas. My goal really is just to learn as much as I can with this horse and have fun with her. I don't feel the need to ever be the best at any one thing. Some wins at shows would be nice, but they're not essential. I also like to just trail ride with her and hack around the property, but that is much more fun on a horse that's well trained.
The only snaffle bit I've extensively ridden her in is the D ring which is a single joint but thinner and curved. I have ridden her in a loose ring a hand full of times, a long time ago, and that seemed to go well, but it wasn't my bit. It had the same mouth piece as the kimberwick I've been using, which is single joint, moderate thickness, no curve. I have used a mullen mouth kimberwick too and the horse didn't seem to mind it but I don't like not being able to work one side of the bit at a time. I'm looking for advice on what kind of bits to try because I want to narrow down my list before I empty my bank account on a million bits that don't work. Unfortunately I don't know anyone who has a horse that uses bits as big as Ursula does, so it's tough to borrow. The instructor I'm starting with in the spring has a draft cross, so I'm hoping she will let me borrow some to try out before I spend money. I had also considered the fact that anything but a snaffle is illegal in dressage (up to 4th level right?). I'm not sure if I plan to compete dressage, but regardless, I don't like the leverage at this point and I WANT a snaffle. I just need to find the right one.
Ursula had her teeth floated in the spring, less than a year ago. She was checked again in the fall when the vet was out to do fall vaccinations and the vet found nothing unusual. I suppose it is possible that something could have cropped up since then.