So, yesterday I decided to go for a ride the weather was nice and I had that spring itch. Last time I rode Harry he was Mr. Perfect. That was in november. Having spent a portion of last summer finding the right bit for him and finding that he goes well in a french link. The trouble was the french link was borrowed (lender has requested it back for their own horse) and I had heard wonderful things about bitless bridles. I put a bitless bridle on Harrys half sister she was fine. So, yesterday I put the bitless bridle on Harry. He was good on the ground, very responsive and giving to the head gear.
I was riding with my mother who usually mounts up in the riding area and I mount up by the barn. A difference of a few hundred yards down a woody path. I got on Harry, my mother had continued with her horse in hand and walked out of sight before I got on.
Harry tried to turn back to the barn and I correct him. He has never bucked before (in the two summers of rides) and by god he made it worth it. I ended up off balance and realized I could either drop to the ground (where there was no tractor equipment) or I could fight and stay on and possibly end off tossed into tractor equipment. I bailed. Harry ran around like a maniac between the barn and the fence. I had to corner him (a horse that meets me at the gate). As soon as I touched him it was like I flipped a switch. He went from wide eyed OH MY GOD! To "Hi, my name is Harry and we are friends". I got on, re-mounted and followed nose to tail my mother down to the riding area. He settled down a bit of head tossing but nothing more. He was turning well and backing with minimal resistance (always a work in progress). I put him out to pasture and cleaned the barn. He stood at the gate nickering at me.
So, was this all the bitless bridle? Do I just go out and figure his half sister can wear the bitless bridle and buy him a french link? Or was this an adjustment period the likes of which I will never see again? How much is I haven't ridden since November? I have not fallen off in 3-4 years so I figure I was due. Is the ground getting harder or am I getting softer?