Margaret has checked in with Cici re the bit. Apparently Cici has a -40% opinion of the bit. I laughed when I read that. Sure sounds like my little girl. I don't know what the guy rode her in but when I got her they had her in a snaffle bit that was poking the roof of her mouth every time the reins were lifted.
When I rode her today she was much calmer about the bit. Even before I tacked her up I put the bridle on and from the ground asked for lateral flexion - asked her to bend her head to her side by picking up the rein on one side or the other. She was soft and quiet. Even held the flexion after I released. I was wondering if Margaret had worked a bit of her magic.
She was fine for the first few minutes then got a little don't touch my mouth but nothing like before. I think we just need to quietly keep playing with this. And with Margaret's continued help on her opinions....hopefully it will go away.
After about 10 minutes she started yawning and yawning and chewing and licking and chewing up a storm. I took that as a release and dismounted.
Before getting on I played with her on the ground. There was a lot of stuff going on in the indoor people coming and going, stalls being cleaned hay and grain being put in the stalls, water buckets filled. On the ground when she went on the the circle she would start off with a fast trot, get into soft footing canter, get unconfident and come back to me, licking and chewing. I figured she was not ready to be ridden so I did a lot of different things with her. And kept coming back to circling. I kept waffling about was she safe to get on so I kept playing with her. At one point she was cantering, and started to do a buck which she caught mid buck and I swear I saw a thought ballon over her head "Oops, not supposed to do that" - and immediately came down to trot and and came in to me!
I put her saddle on and I played some more and had her out on the circle. I had her walk trot and canter on the circle with saddle to make sure everything was fine. She did go faster than she was comfortable with and then would turn in to me and lick and chew. So I figured okay. She is with me.
This was a difficult decision. I mean I am doing the assessing of her connection. And of course I worry if I am making the wrong decision. Does she want me to get on? Do I want to get on? Yes I do want to get on. I remember Avery said it will come to my wanting get back on. So still concerns, worries, reservations. But I decided to get on. Clear my mind. Take a deep breath. And I could get off. Which I did. Got on waited for chew and head lowering. Walked a few steps. Got off. Walked her back to mounting block and put my foot in the stirrup and up and down a few more times before I got on. Sigh. Licking and chewing on my part.
The horses had been put in their stalls. I do not like to ride by them. So we stay at one end of the ring. Did small circles, turns. Lift rein for stop. And when she started yawning figured I had bored her enough so I'd get off. Reward that kind of release. Only riding for maybe 10 minutes. But her difference re bit was huge today.