Mar. 1st, 2017

lantairvlea: (lantair look)
I was able to make time to work Tru-D again this afternoon betwern lessons and had a bit more luck. Part of that was because of a tack change.

My grand plan is to work Tru-D bitless until she has a full mouth. I was lucky with Z in that she never got any wolf teeth in. I had hoped to do the same with her, but the option I had at the time, just a lungeing cavesson, wasn't workable with the long lines or the reins. The signal just wasn't clear enough because the rings were too high up the nose and I think they tended to stick a bit too. I can't remember now other than the fact I deemed it unworkable so Zetahra worked in the bit much sooner than I had intended.

With Tru-D I have since found a bitless bridle that I really like and I had long lines made to work with it. The first time I used it the cross-under configuration was a bit much for Tru-D. She was very sucked back and I ended up using it as a sidepull for a time. This was all well and good, but I wanted a littke more possible pressure before hooking her to anything. After a few months I did try the cross-under again and she did well enough in it and had pulled the tire a half dozen times since.

One thing I was really aware of yesterday was Tru-D's tendency to drift backwards. She has a really nice stop on her, but I wasn't sure why she kept drifting back. This backwards drift is not a good thing, especially when you're pulling things. Yesterday she drifted back while I had paused a moment to help Kelhan and she ended up with the reins completely in front of her (yes, shame on me leaving the lines on the ground).

The reins I am using now are either 1/2" or 5/8" betathane. I'd have to measure them, but they are narrower so that they would be lighter over their 25' length because the usual 3/4" width the maker uses on her normal reins would have been pretty heavy. I like them, they have a good feel in the hand, but I was starting to wonder if the weight of them might be causing Tru-D to drift, especially with as light and sensitive as she can be in all other aspects of her training. My other thought is maybe they don't slide through the rings on the surcingle quite as freely because the beta material is grippy, unlike my MCR long lines I use with the regular bridles and the sidepull which I also like, but they slide quite readily when allowed.

The last thing I ordered before cancelling my Savvy Club subscription (all two months of it, acquired to save a bunch on the driving training dvd and then the On Line Savvy set) was a set of their "feather lines." One more tool in the toolbox, right?

I wasn't sure if I would like them because they are incredibly thin. Supposedly they are made out of the same material as their Savvy Strings, which are a little over 1/4" in diameter with a loop on one end and a little leather popper on the other.

I decided to experiment and put the feathet lines on the sidepull rings of Tru-D's bridle. I didn't put snaps on them so I just fed the string through itself to secure it. Eventually I'd like to put a little leather strap with a buckle on the end to secure them because I've gotten less fond of snaps on the end of reins or lines over time. Looping it through worked well enough, especially since I didn't need to take them off.

We worked in the arena walking and trotting and doing some direction changes (so nice not having to dodge large wet spots guys!). Her halts were nice and prompt and no backwards drift! She also was less pushy with her nose.

Once she was warmed up I introduced the pvc "shafts." They are two different sizes and the smaller one pretty much slid right out of the shaft loop as soon as she stepped forward. The larger one stayed in better and she dragged a single one on both sides. There was a little uncertainty about it pushing into her hip a little, but she settled and did just fine. Now I need to get some bailing twine and jury rig them to stay in place better so I can use both of them at once and get her used to them rubbing and pushing on her.

So my experiment with the lighter lines was a success! Unfortunately I changed two variables by having lighter lines and using the sidepull rather than the cross-under method. I think I am going to take a moment tomorrow and see if I can get them to work as cross-under reins and then see if she drifts the next time I work her.

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lantairvlea

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