Jellybean revolts against the bridle and shows off her backing skills

This weekend I got to ride Jellybean. Sporadic I know. I grabbed her from the paddock and groomed her really well, since it has been a little while (bad mom award here). She was covered in dirt, but otherwise looked great. Being in the larger pasture has headed off the almost thrush that was trying to develop.

I tacked her up in a western saddle (because why not) and stood back for a second. Jellybean looks really great. She is about 15.2ish and really looking like a grown up. She definitely looks more appendix-y. She hasn’t stopped growing yet, and she is still a bit downhill. I really hope she will continue growing up in the front, but if she doesn’t I will be ok with that too.

I used a different bridle with her. I have been using a bridle with a regular cavesson noseband and a full cheek snaffle. This day I decided to use Knot’s dressage bridle, with a flash noseband and an eggbutt snaffle. I didn’t adjust the flash noseband very tight, just enough so it wouldn’t move around or fall off the front of her nose. This is important.

Anyways, we got set up with the lunge line in the arena and I got started. Jellybean must have remembered our review from the previous week, because she was spot on. She didn’t have any problems paying attention to me or my voice commands. I cantered her a little bit and declared her ready to ride. I walked back over to the mounting block where she stood perfectly still for me to mount.

She walked off, and I quickly got my feet into the stirrups. She seemed a little bit peppy, so I started trotting her. I tried to turn, and bam, resistance. She craned her neck to the right and locked her jaw and stopped moving. Uh oh. She starting turning into the bit I was briefly concerned that she was going to do something dumb, so I started using my legs and then dressage whip to get her thinking forward again.

This same sequence of events happened about three more times while I tried to figure out what was going on. Was it the left turn? Right turn? One side or another of the arena? Nope. It was just turning. She didn’t want to turn one way or another. So I got more demanding that she should turn, and she got a little more resistant. Then suddenly she stopped fighting and turned. Done. We finished up our walk/trot/cantering and then worked on more turning. Crazy how the argue button suddenly turns off.

After our flatwork, we ventured outside of the arena over to our new dressage arena (!). This dressage arena is especially awesome because it should be located in a fairly permanent location that should be free of nasty flooding problems :D. And so I decided to run through an Intro A-like test and see where it got us. And it got us through. It definitely wasn’t the worst test I have ever ridden. Which I found surprising. Maybe Jellybean will get to debut with Sarah sooner than expected… stay tuned.

And so to finish up the evening, we were standing talking to some other boarders and one of the brothers. This brother has spent some time telling me he can’t get his horse to back up. I have talked with him about how to work on this multiple times, but he is a teenager and knows everything. So I got Jellybean to back halfway down the dressage arena with minimal fuss. His horse was not quite so willing, even with some different equipment and it being part of the horse’s job. Mission accomplished. Successfully showed up a teenage boy :p

This is her everyday face. RBF anyone?

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