Tuesday, June 12, 2012


The hackamore may actually work. 

Poor Nina has been standing around for months and all her old defensive-you-can't-make-me attitudes woke up at the sight of a saddle.  Yesterday she was a jerk.

Today I put a surcingle on her.  I just wanted to put a little pressure on the hackamore without getting on her and see if she flipped out at the pressure. 
So I lunged her a little in the surcingle and suddenly she did not want to be caught. Running wildly.  She would stop when I told her to and then wheel around and run off in the other direction.  

When she got tired she seemed to suddenly realize that I was not the enemy. 
Followed me over to where the bridle was hanging, stood quietly while I put it on and took it off and adjusted the headstall and the curb.  Waited to be told to trot off and was very obedient.  I tied up the reins to put a little pressure on her and while it pissed her off when she ran into it abruptly, she seemed fine with it. 

I suppose it is not at all surprising that after so much time off she would revert to her old behavior.
It is just so odd to watch her flip from scared wild animal to following me around and sticking her nose in the straps I am trying to fix like "what's up? what are we doing now?"
I am glad she is able to make the switch and that our experiences seem to bury the old bad ones - after a while.

And while I can't do the training she really needs in a hackamore (accepting the bit), we can both get some exercise and work on lots and lots of other things. 


  1. She is teaching me a lot - that is probably at the top of the list.

  2. I'm so glad she's suddenly able to realize things aren't like they used to be. :)

  3. Never underestimate the hackamore...it's what changed my riding relationship with Miles. I'm not saying all horses should be ridden without a bit, but Miles truly is a different horse without one. We did switch to a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle eventually, and we certainly do ride with contact, his back up, tracking up beautifully at his best.

    He's just one of those horses who doesn't like metal in his mouth. He relaxed one thousand percent too, when he realized he wouldn't be punished in his mouth, however inadvertently by me when we took a long jump or he spooked. Game changer:)


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