On a horsey forum recently I read that it was important for a horse to be taught the aids: legs, whip and hands. I was disappointed to learn that horses were being thought of a such a simple machine. There are so many lower gears available before you even use a physical pressure, gears that enable you to avoid the less subtle, clunky gears - thought, breath, and feel, energy and intent, even tone of voice.
This morning we worked on some of this with Dottie as well as getting her used to her new bit which is one of a range made my Hilary Vernon.
The bit is a Harmony D cheek snaffle which is has the benefit of neat joints and a round lozenge. The D cheeks give some guidance for steering. This too is a lot less clunky than the Fulmer flat plate French link tat she came with. In any event we have some work to do on asking her not to brace against the bit, something that is instinctive but also a product of being reinforced.
Although we did the same as last week, Vanessa and Dottie have made a lot of progress and went off line for the first time. Dottie seemed very calm and happy.