So it’s officially been one week since meeting the Smitster, and I couldn’t be happier with his little baby brain. Getting a baby, which I consider him since he really acts/looks more like a 3 year old than a 4 year old, has reminded me of a few things that I haven’t recalled in some time.
The first is tack woes. While I really didn’t expect my existing saddles to fit Smitty, since they are medium wide trees and he is a rather narrow fellow, I forgot how tricksy it can be to constantly be figuring out bits and bridles and all the other little things that you take for granted once a routine is established. For instance, I’ve already determined that 2 of my bits aren’t ideal at the moment for him, and added in the dressage whip as well, and we’ve only ridden 5 times so far.
And even further in my baby tack woes soliloquy, I will likely be selling my beloved PS of Sweden bridle, since baby Smitty’s refined head is literally too small for it- the noseband on the tightest hole still doesn’t really work and I’m loathe to punch holes in it and cut off the excess.
But I suppose selling the bridle (among other things, post coming soon) will help fund the new saddle that I’ll be auctioning off my soul to buy. Le sigh, major first world problems here.
Other than tack woes, there’s just the process of sorting out what my new horse responds to. I like to use vocal positive reinforcement a lot, but I learned pretty quickly that this guy has been taught that “good boy” means “whoa”, so I’ve been trying different inflections of my voice with the phrase to reward him and teach him that he can keep trotting at the same time. I suppose I could find another phrase, but “you’re super duper” or “gold star” don’t quite roll off the tongue.
Tonight I plan to introduce yet another bit into the mix and hope that this one sticks, and continue working out Smitty’s buttons and continue to acquaint him with his new life as a dressage and eventing pony.