Total training time 42 hours 50 minutes

Jac has had some time off because I took a ten day trip to visit family.

I chose to move Jac to a twisted wire bit. As with any bit it is as harsh as the hands that use it. I changed bits because Jac doesn’t have the basics down well enough to move to a shanked bit; yet Jac is at times overly confident and pushy especially when distracted by mares and other horses. By watching Jac’s mouth it is possible to see that Jac doesn’t regard the bit as ‘too much’.

bucket handle

Stacy’s bucket was missing the white handle part.

I know many people are concerned by the idea of using a twisted wire because it isn’t smooth. Bits are motivators, tools used to motivate the horse. The twisted wire I am using is the same diameter as the smooth snaffle I was using previously. I remember learning about bits and how the shape and the diameter are things that could change their intensity. At that time I lived in Maine and had to carry water for my horses and I carried it in a 5 gallon bucket that originally had a white plastic cover over the wire handle. Years ago the white plastic had broken off and I carried the bucket anyway. It did make a difference that the metal alone was more narrow and applied more pressure…but it didn’t make enough of a difference for me to change buckets. This could change from person to person as the bit required changes from horse to horse.

In the spin Jac is beginning to ‘hunt’ the steps. It is possible to see this demonstrated at 1:30 because he keeps going to the left without me needing to guide him as much as I did in Episode 24. The exercise from Episode 24 (at 6 minute mark) where I said, ‘right, right, right, right, right’ is starting to pay off. Notice at 3:20 how Jac walks forward and to the left because of what he is mentally thinking.

I continue to read Jac’s body language at 5:22 where I say, Jac is thinking.  “I tried! I can stop now.” Jac is allowed to make comments but I gently correct him.

10:09 – Again, I am not putting Jac’s head down, he is putting it down and I am leaving him alone about it. Jac is demonstrating that he is relaxed and wants to carry his head down. I will actually discourage this during the training of his lead changes and sliding stops.

10:45- notice that Jac took the wrong lead. I haven’t trained Jac to move his hip yet so Jac doesn’t always get the correct lead. Getting the correct leads will come as Jac learns to move both his hips and his shoulders separately.

11:48-Can you see how much Jac hunts the stop?

There are so many ideas packed into this episode that I didn’t even try to write them all down. I hope you enjoy.