Yesterday and today, I bridled Reason for the first time. I was curious, not knowing much about his past, what this experience would be like. I know that Reason is sensitive near his ears and upper neck, so how could this effect his willingness to accept a bridle without any issues? Again, just as with the saddle, just as with leaning over his back, I wasn’t worried about it. My gut told me that this was a racehorse after all. Bridled, haltered almost all day, he had to accept it. Not only because it was important in general, but because it was needed for the purpose to get everything done fast. Haste makes waste at the track, from what I hear.
But, nothing. Reason actually willingly wanted to be bridled, lowering his head to have the bit slide into his mouth and the headstall to slide over his ears.
The next thought of logic, was, how would having a bridle effect him? Mentally, that is. Would this make him think TRACK. Would his behavior while on a walk to the arena for a hang-out and short stroll, change because of this piece of tack that is so fundamentally related to racing? I just wasn’t sure what to expect.
But, again, nothing. He chewed on the bit, in a way of comfort. He seemed more interested with what I was asking, or about to ask, because the bit was there and the bridle was on. Because there was no reaction at all, in a negative sense to the bridling, I was quickly wondering what would be the next appropriate thing to do? I took Reason to his familiar sight in the arena, the mounting block. He’s always so interested in it. Perhaps because I put treats on the mounting block when I was introducing him to it? He had no idea what in the world this mounting block was, nor what it could do to him. A little friendly invite from treats, quickly made him fall in love with it’s exsistance!
So, I climbed onto this mounting block, as Reason stood quietly parallel to it. I took the reins in both hands, leaning over onto him and asked him to give to a little rein pressure. It started slow, obviously, I wasn’t expecting much, but I knew he was going to quickly catch on. And he did. A little wiggle of my ring finger and he was yielding. No it was’t pretty and yes, he was correcting me by lowering his head and bracing, but I asked and listened. I respect his knowledge and quick reminders of his training and it’s a good thing. He has an unmistakably willingness to learn.