Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Willow + double = bliss

I didn't make it to the barn last night, but I got out tonight. I popped Willow in the cross ties first thing and reminded her that me touching her ears is a good thing, with many carrot pieces involved. She settled down very quickly. When it came time to put the double on, she accepted it with only the slightest eye roll. SO much better than Sunday. I'm just going to make it a habit to perform carrot therapy before every ride.

I just adore how Willow feels in the double. I was even able to have a little tension on the curb rein this evening from time to time. No big deal. The most noticeable improvement has been in the canter. I can go from collection to extension to collection, and she doesn't lean. Awesome. I also love how still I can keep my hands; just the slightest flexion of my wrist reminds Willow to keep giving at the poll.

It's back to the snaffle for a week starting tomorrow. Will this new-found softness remain? Stay tuned.

My friend Ted in Texas forwarded me this YouTube clip. I imagine y'all can guess what's going to happen, but it's still funny.


forgingahead said...

Love following your progress with Willow and the double bridle! Gives me hope! Keep on writing!

TexasMissy said...

Just read your last two posts. I'm having a similar problem with my filly. I can put the headstall over the left ear but she turns into a head tossing dervish over the right ear. Could you give me more details about your carrot therapy?

BTW both ears can be touched, it seems as if it is only the headstall over the right ear is the issue. She's been this way since I've had her, about three months. Previous owner says she had problem before I bought her but doesn't know why.

Thanks for any advice.

halfpassgirl said...

TexasMissy, I feel your pain! It's a very frustrating phobia to have to deal with. I went into detail about my carrot therapy (or "carrapy" :) ) in this post: http://halfpassgirl.blogspot.com/2008/03/dont-touch-my-ears.html

Basically just do everything you can to associate touching your filly's ears with treats. Try to get her to drop her head as you mess with her ears and give treats (dropped head = relaxation). You might want to have a vet take a look at the ear, too, just in case. But it's more likely somebody eared her down. It'll take some patience to get her over it! Can you unbuckle the headstall and put it on like a halter in the meantiime?

TexasMissy said...

Thanks very much, I'm new to your blog and will look up your previous posting. I have been unbuckling the headstall but three hands would be nice to hold the snaffle steady and buckle it up and of course I'm short. :)

gina armfield said...

now that is funny!