“Needs must when the devil drives” as they say, and I had to think outside the box a bit for the latest phase with my over-opinionated mare Daisy.
She was getting really silly on the approach to a fence, fighting and rushing, and when I checked her (because I don’t want her charging in and taking off early and jumping flat) she was getting very very offended – all in a mild snaffle, with looseish running martingale (which was only there because she does chuck her head up occasionally.)
This is a problem I’ve encountered before though, so I thought I knew which way to go.
I decided that no bit, and a deliberately high-fitted English hackamore, was the answer, plus an elasticated standing martingale (hence the cavesson noseband with hackamore, which looks a bit weird, but I didn’t want the martingale to affect the hackamore at all.)
Her surprise when she tried to chuck her head in the air and didn’t touch her mouth or affect me, was patent. It happened a few times until she worked it out. It made quite a difference to our approaches (and our hacking, as I’ve been hacking out in this too, to get her used to the feel of it before jumping in it.)
The hackamore is deliberately fitted snugly, so that there is hardly any lever action. Be aware that using a hackamore does compromise your steering – you have to steer a lot more with your legs, which is good practice of course!
Obviously this set-up is only for schooling at home, as standing martingales are not allowed for B.E.
Now we have gone back to the snaffle for jumping, and so far so good…