I could write six blog posts about the yesterday’s lesson and recent purchases. The rough outline of my next few posts:
1. Husband of the Year told me that if I sold a spare set of brand new wheels and snow tires that came with his car on Craigslist, I could use the proceeds for horse stuff. At the same time, a used/like new Micklem finally came up for sale at a reasonable price, and I jumped on it.
2. Attendant to #1, with the Craigslist money, I also bought a used Thinline Saddle Fitter pad with both sets of shims, partially because I’ve wanted a half-pad and partially because I see saddle fit problems on the horizon with my jump saddle. Sigh.
3. Connor freakin loves the items in #1 and #2.
4. Jumping is hard (for me, not him), and we’re doing more of it.
5. Real Dressage is hard, and we’re doing more of it.
6. We have a debut event picked out, and it’s big.
Today will be Micklem review day. You guys know I've been enamored with them for a very long time, but they almost never come up for sale used, and when they do sell used, they sell for nearly as much as they do new. This one came up for sale on the High Quality Used Tack Facebook store for a great price, and I highly recommend working with them. I saw it on my phone, messaged her about it, received a PayPal invoice, paid, and had it shipped all within a matter of minutes while I was in Nappanee last week. Two thumbs up for service from them!
|Going to have to keep the goat beard in check with this bridle.|
Connor has spoken about his preference for the Micklem: he loves it. From the moment I took up the reins, he was mouthing the bit a lot, which has never happened before. It was like his default reaction became to push into the bridle and seek the bit rather than put his head up and hollow out. He got heavy a few times, but I could tell that laying on my hands wasn’t the easy escape that it normally is for him, which he got frustrated about for a few minutes and before deciding to carry his own head the rest of the ride – YAY! He was SO light in the reins compared to normal, and really working over his back with minimal effort from me. I cannot overstate what a big change that is from ride to ride, it's a 100% turnaround from my last ride on Tuesday, in which I could not get him both off my hands and working through his back at the same time. It was amazing.
Our contact was more consistent and stable, and my half-halts felt much more effective than normal: I got big reactions every time I asked. I can’t see going back to riding in a regular caveson with him after feeling that, which is a shame, because I love the way Heidi’s bridle looks on him, the photos from the Hoosier Horse Fair make it clear what a good looking noseband it is on him. Though the Micklem does flatter his head also, aside from making his hairy jaw very apparent.
So my final verdict on the Micklem is that it worked miracles for Connor and I. I felt like I bought a different horse when I just made a tack change. My biceps didn't ache after my ride yesterday - love it!