Weekend recap – video evidence

It was yet another great, mostly stress-free horsey filled weekend. I started off with a non-horsey thing – a 35 mile bike ride. I pretty much wanted to get hit by a car the entire way home as I pedaled straight into a 20mph headwind. I would have gladly traded my bike (or first born child, or a kidney) for a ride home… talk about pure misery. When you have to pedal downhill just to keep moving forward, it’s too freaking windy. Ugh, fried quads.

After that I headed out to ride the pony, because my legs weren’t quite dead enough yet. We did some flatwork first…

juneflat1 Juneflat2

then hopped around the little jumps that were set up in the ring. My friend was there so I actually have video! Mostly we worked on short approaches and turns.

HenryJune from amanda chance on Vimeo.

Good thing to note: he’s no longer curling up behind the bit at any whiff of contact. Praise Jesus hallelujah, the month of flatwork bootcamp was not in vain. There’s still a lot more to work on, but I’m glad to have made progress on what has been the biggest problem we’ve had to date. I feel like the rest of it isn’t nearly so difficult to fix. The video also makes me think I really need to try a figure 8 on him, or – dare I even say it – a Micklem (itssooougly) or a Perfect Sit (iloveit)? Thoughts, blogosphere? He’s a fussy creature.

After the barn I went to Walmart to pick him up a new (seriously heavy duty) fan for the new barn. It’s powerful enough that I’m pretty sure if I ever put it on the highest setting he’d look something like this:


On Sunday we just did a pretty relaxed hack out in the grass ring. He did give me two really nice trot lengthenings across the diagonal, which is seriously noteworthy. This horse doesn’t lengthen anything. I just finally got him to do an actual stretchy trot circle a week ago. Henry generally stays in Henry outline at all times, he’s a very “stuck” creature by nature. The fact that he lengthened – a real true honest to goodness, rocked back on his butt lengthening – was nothing short of a miracle. These are the baby steps that give me hope.

After that I let him gallop down the long stretch of grass by the road. I’m so endlessly amused by his pogo stick gallop, I’m usually about to fall off laughing by the time I pull him up. He’s not quite sure what’s so funny but I don’t think he could outrun a 3-legged goat. After our ride it was spa time, since he can’t go to a new barn looking like a hood rat. Lots of scrubbing, some suds, clippers, scissors, and a mane pull later, he looks presentable again.


Oh yeah that reminds me – the other fun thing of the weekend! My newest batch of Personally Preppy monograms came! Monogram Everything.

monograms before:


monograms after:


Today is moving day… fingers crossed!

32 thoughts on “Weekend recap – video evidence

  1. I just ordered a few monograms from Personally Preppy as well! I see more in my future ha. You guys are looking good! I have to say though, I love the micklem bridles – I think they’re super handsome.


  2. Of note: I’m not trainer, so I would take my advice with a HEAVY grain of salt. But I wonder if adding more pressure (ie figure 8/flash0 to his already sensitive mouth is a good idea at this point? Is there a reason you don’t ride/jump in a standing or running martingale? That might help with his evading the bit by going up, and then when he’s comfortable with that you might try to work on the chomping. Just my [fairly uneducated] two cents.


    1. Hmm… not really sure why you’re thinking martingale? He never gets high enough to where he would actually hit the end of a martingale, but I can only imagine how upset he’d be if he did. I’ve spent 6 months trying to get his head UP, so I wouldn’t want to do anything to discourage that. The rare evasion with his head too high is MUCH better than cantering to all the jumps with his head on his chest. He’s a jumper, I need him up in front of me. I’m certainly never in danger of his head coming anywhere even remotely near my face, so I don’t see any benefit to a martingale? I didn’t like him in a flash the few times I tried it, but he does tend to cross his jaw and brace against the bit/pull in the turns or with quick corrections, hence thinking a figure 8 might help stabilize that a little better.


  3. I guess I’m not seeing what you’re feeling/seeing in the video. He looks great to me – in control and calm until approaching a fence. He lifts his head to look instead of curling under – as you want in a jumper. As for other issues like crossing the jaw/bracing against the bit, I’m not sure something added around the mouth will help unless it’s cranked a bit tight. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I read that the english noseband is what effectively shuts the jaw (which is why they have crank nosebands), rather than a flash around the muzzle. I use a Figure 8 on Fiction for XC only because the Micklem doesn’t fit his bit. However I keep the actual nose piece super loose. I want him to have freedom with his mouth, especially since he’s such a sensitive one.

    The one thing I found that really helped me with Fiction’s bit evasion/locking/chewing issues was a full sweet copper mouthpiece. He softened immediately with it. Not sure if your discipline allows for that, or if Henry would accept it since he’s not keen on bits. And when he is prone to curling under, what helped me is raising my hands, sitting deep in the saddle and really pushing him forward. It’s a technique my trainer learned from Buck Davidson at a clinic she rode in.


    1. I must not be communicating effectively LOL. I am saying exactly what you are saying – he used to curl under on the approach to the fence, to the point where I have no idea how he could even see it. Now he’s not doing that at all, he is slightly lifting his head on the approach to the fence which is of course what we want. That’s the improvement that I am so excited about.

      He is still a bit fussy in the contact in general though, busy with his mouth and tends to brace against me when I balance him in the turns.

      I have tried him in full copper before and he was actually worse. Much more fussy and mouthy.

      I am not looking to strap his mouth shut… just to give him more stability and possibly more comfort. I have had horses that much preferred the design of a figure 8. But that was why I was also curious about a Mecklem type design for the same reason.


      1. That makes more sense haha 🙂

        I have slight qualms with the idea that a flash provides security. I guess I’ve never had it as tight as you’re supposed to (two fingers slid underneath, etc), but I still feel they can open their mouths quite a bit when it is used appropriately, so that removes that point of stability. As for stabilizing the bit, the bit hangs in the mouth from the cheek pieces – it can shift up in the mouth (seen when a rider pulls on the reins and the cheek pieces pop out, indicating the bit has moved), but it doesn’t really move down (how can it – cheek pieces don’t stretch downwards and there is nothing pulling the bit down). So unless the flash noseband actually sits directly underneath a loose bit and props it up, much like adding a belt to pants already supported with suspenders, I don’t see how it stabilizes a bit in a horse’s mouth.

        What I can see is the flash noseband providing an odd sense of security; in other words, a placating instrument much like a muzzle for a nervous/anxious dog. It’s always worth a shot!


        1. I meant stabilizing his jaw/mouth more than stabilizing the bit itself. I don’t make mine tight either, but I’ve never had to. Sometimes just having the strap there (the upper jaw strap, not the lower flash strap) is enough of a reminder. Really all just guessing though until I actually get my hands on one to try. It’d be nice to try a micklem too, just as an experiment.


          1. What size head does he have? I have a Micklem you’re welcome to try out. I’ve been breaking in my show bridle so I haven’t used it in a while. It’s a horse-size. In need of a cleaning but I can send it to you for a trial if you would like.


          2. I couldn’t respond to the little conversation we had, so I’m posting a comment here. Email me so we can work out a trial 🙂 brokenmessage2 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Or, my direct email is linked from my blog via the email link at the top (I’ll end up directing you to this email eventually, I just hate posting it directly on a public-facing platform).


  4. Coming from someone whose mare is a brute, and will run through my hands, mouth agape when she gets the chance, I use the figure eight to back hero off and remind her that she needs to keep her mouth closed.

    If your guy tends to get a bit curled under, I think a figure eight might be too much, but you never know he might feel more secure with it on. Doesn’t hurt to try and borrow someones first before taking the plunge and buying a new bridle.


  5. I have to say I do like my Micklem and I’ve never heard of that Perfect Sit before. It looks interesting. I’m not a fan of the width of the crown piece, though. It looks like it really could be a crown!


  6. You guys look great!!

    I like his head carriage as a jumper- def not too high or needing a martingale IMHO.

    Stop feeding into my desire to buy more PP monograms!!! Lol

    Hope the move goes great!!!


  7. I like his head carriage also.

    I am a huge fan of the Micklem – a figure eight is just a better sitting flash…a drop might be another alternative for you.


  8. Ohhh man now I want all the monograms …. Should not have gone to the PP site … where did you get the OTTB monogram from? I would love one of those but didn’t see it at PP.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s