Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry (Belated) Christmas!

Hey! I hope that you all had a lovely Christmas and got lots and lots of good loot! As for me, I got quite a good haul this year. In the "horse-y items" department, I got the Activate Your Horse's Core book/DVD, a pair of breeches (which I will be exchanging; they are really more of a riding tight and I am a bit too..uumm... shall we say zaftig to be wearing riding tights) and the Happy Mouth boucher bit. Actually, I accidentally asked for the wrong bit -- so, instead of the double-jointed bit, I got the roller one, like this:

I'm not so sure I like this bit, and Salem doesn't seem too thrilled with it, either. My main concern is whether or not his tongue could get pinched between the roller and the sides. See, the roller can slide back and forth on the wire. I rode Salem in this bit today and he didn't seem too crazy about it. There was a lot of nose-in-the-air and head-tossing and he had zero foam. So, I'm thinking either:

a) Salem does not like the Happy Mouth plastic

b) He doesn't like the boucher

c) His tongue is being pinched

d) He simply needs time to adjust to this bit.

We'll give it another few tries and see how it goes. He was much better by the end of the ride, which is encouraging. If he still hates it after a few rides, I'll see about getting the double-jointed one (or see if I can find a non-Happy Mouth double-jointed boucher...?).

By far one of my favorite gifts this year was the saddle pad that Heather gave me. She bought plain white baby pads for everyone and then bought ribbon and sewed it on the edges of the pads. Of course, she custom-tailored the ribbon to each person's taste. I adore mine! The ribbon is all different shades of blue; it is now my fave saddle pad.

How cute is that? Note how she even did a fancy fold of the ribbon in the corners. She is totally showing me up in the gift-giving department -- her gifts were hand-made, custom-tailored, thoughtful, and gorgeous. She is such a little Martha Stewart!

Now on to the holiday-themed pics. I was planning on having pics of Salem's very merrily-decorated stall. However, said decorations were delivered a one-two punch by Salem and Mother Nature. The gold Merry Christmas garland hung with red jingle bells was torn down by the wind. Three out of the four big red bows somehow ended up in Salem's stall, shredded to pieces. The cute red/white/green striped snowman stocking with the puffy hanging candy canes got ripped off the door by Salem; I put it down on the other end of the stall, and Phantom chewed the loop and the candy canes off. So now, his stall has one giant red ribbon, a few jingle bells, a red felt Santa bag full of treats, and a pathetic loop-less, candy-cane-less stocking thrown unceremoniously over the blanket bar. I try. Just imagine how it looked for the first ten minutes after I decorated it. Oh, well. At least I got some pics of Salem looking very jolly:

Salem must have been a very good boy this year; Santa Claus brought him a blue Jolly Ball, a Jolly Stall Snack holder with peppermint lick-y thing, two bags of carrots, a 5 pound bag of apple treats, and two boxes of peppermint candy canes. Phantom Claus brought him a box of multi-flavored candy canes, reindeer food (actually little cinnamon cookies) and a giant peppermint stick. Yowza, I think we will need to increase his exercise a bit! He and I both have been on a Holiday Heifer-fest lately. We've certainly gained a bit of "holiday weight." Well, New Year's Eve is just around the corner -- maybe we'll both get a gym membership!


SprinklerBandit said...

Yay bits!

I used to ride Izzy in a full cheek snaffle with keepers when I first started her. She seemed to like how steady it was in her mouth.

Then I went on a bit buying kick and got her an eggbutt french link, which she reacted to much the same way Salem did to your new bit.

My dressage teacher hated the full cheek though, because she doesn't like fixed bits. We went back to the eggbutt, but she adjusted it so it's higher in Izzy's mouth, because she hasn't learned to carry it by herself yet.

Now it works, and we're all happy.

Good luck!

Frizzle said...

Yep, finding the "perfect" bit is always a challenge!
Fortunately, the second day in the boucher was much better, and yesterday he seemed to actually like it.
However, I'm still afraid that his tongue could be pinched. So, one of my fellow boarders might buy this bit from me and I will buy the double-jointed one.

Fran Jurga said...

Hi Frizzle, glad you had such a bountiful Christmas, someone must love you very much!

Can you point me to this study you mentioned on Gogo's blog comments: "just kindly point to the studies which show that, in shod horses, blood flow to the hoof actually comes to a halt for a split second during every heartbeat, at the level of the fetlock."

I am not familiar with that study and would like to know about it. Thanks very much!

(fran -at- hoofcare -dot- com)

Denali said...

Denali got coal! Lol, We use a boucher, and we both love it! I started in a loose ring snaffle (since I knew NOTHING about her) but then after talking to my trainer decided to switch.

baystatebrumby said...

That bit looks very serious! It looks like the Dostoevsky of bits!
I love the custom made saddle pad! The ribbon is so charming!
the weather is so cold here in Massachusetts that your green pictures make me feel warmer.

Frizzle said...

The bit is very gentle. Although many people think a boucher applies poll pressure, it does not. The upper ring simply holds the bit very steadily in the horse's mouth. And the mouthpiece on this one is made of Happy Mouth plastic with a center roller. So, really, even if it looks complicated, it's actually quite simple and gentle.
And it is not so warm here at the moment -- just read my next post!