Thats right! Although I skipped opening hunt as my horse's teeth were being whitened, errr.... floated, I have committed myself to tomorrow hunt.
Being the courteous dressage rider that I am, I called some hunt peeps, to inform of my Sunday 0830 arrival. I requested an easily accesible parking spot, preferable a drive through. (I CAN park a trailer!!!! But it is a lot of work and I park really well if I dont have to back up)
So, after a long discussion in which those hunt people didnt understand what i wanted. I finally told them to just put out some cones to save my parking spot. I really hope they do.
Then, one of the ladies (they made me repeat my request to several different people) asked if I had considered using a stronger bit. I said, well yes, and she said great! And hung up.
I didn't even ask her which bit to use!!!!
So, my fellow hunters (Can i call ya'll that even if i am actually a dressage rider pretending to be a hunter???)
I need a bit! By tomoorow!!
My horse usually rides in a KK Ultra snaffle, looose ring. Unfortunealty, as a child he was ridden by a HUMEGEOUS dude, who tried to make him cut cows and pulled him around alot. So my horse does not take kindly to being yanked around, he also has the lower neck muscle like the Hulks that I have slowely been getting rid of for YEARS!!!! But, if you pull straight back or use a harsh bit, he just runs. So i need something that says; "Hey! Listen to my halfhalts!! Ok, now you remeber im here, we can go back to just listening to my seat instead of pulling matches (I'm not good at tug-of-war, the nails get in the way!
Soooo, are you saying you are averse to using a curb bit? Because my first choice for hydraulic brakes is always the pelham. (Well, actually, I'd prefer a full bridle but don't have one in the inventory).
What about an elevator bit, then? Or a Waterford?
And remember, my motto is, as long as you have steering, you'll be fine.
Absolutely LOVED your description of the parking situation! I can ONLY imagine what that hon sec was thinking when you called and requested the cones!!
So I need to warn you......it's a true hunting tradition that we all park as close to each other as possible (even tho' it's in a 100 acre OPEN FIELD!!!) so that we can share peeps, mounting blocks, sips of coffee, sips of flasks, gossip, tack and anything else...sometimes hairnets.....well...not me of course but YOU might. Hint: it's always best to park IN THE SAME FIELD as everyone else too.....parallel with truck bumpers exactly lined up.
One of WG's fieldhunters got to know a best friends fieldhunter so well from parking next to her for years that when I pulled up, opened the door - they'd nicker to each other!! See? Parallel!!
Has the horse ever been ridden in a leverage type bit? If he has, I'm all for a pelham with two sets of reins.
I know a lot of dressage type folks that use a Dr. Bristol or even a slow twist for a bit extra oomph when hunting without calling out the big guns.
Does your horse get inverted when he runs? If so, what about trying a running martingale with your regular bit? I've found these to be very helpful for my horse who turns into a giraffe as soon as he hears the hounds.
that is what my last hunt horse [photo in profile] needed for his first 2 years in the field.
after that we were able to move down to a jointed Pelham.
the new horse http://members.arstechnica.com/x/armandh2/PA040707.JPG
has [relatively] great brakes and stops easily with a slow twist full cheek snaffle
PS ware: hole, soft area, broken off T fence posts [the cones may not be what you think]
WHY would you need more bit if your horse is on the aids? Maybe put on a running martingale which does nothing if properly fitted (when rings are held straight up they are the height of the point of the hip), and it is there is the horse thought to invert (momentarily). I only hunted in a pelham once, otherwise snaffles were great.
The biggest problem people need more 'bit' for is because they hang on the horse and dull it to the aids. Same with the event riders today with all the bitting up, it has never been necessary but usually the result of too much too soon. Horses which are slowly exposed (ie cubbing) usually stay very relaxed.
I actually don't hang on my horse with more bit. I was afraid of doing just that but my fears were wonderfully unfounded! And for the most part, my particular horse does stay on the aids (seat and leg only-I leave his mouth alone!). But, he loves to go and more bit helps remind him to listen to me and not get quite so carried away! A snaffle did not help to remind him; it gave him a familiar tool to take a hold and do the job he thought he was supposed to be doing!
But, everyone's mileage varies! : )
Oh, QueenofHearts, the best advice given to me about parking was "put it in 4 wheel drive BEFORE you drive off the pavement"! Even if the parking field looks dry! Hope you had a great day sunday!
\"And indeed the love that the horses of the Rangers bore for their riders was so great that they were willing to face even the terror of the Door , if their masters\' hearts were steady as they walked beside them.\" The Return of the Ki
armandh- could quite make out the bitting in the profile photo but what a sturdy looking paint horse! The Clyde is nice too!
The profile photo paint is a TWH/CLYDE alleged cross I hunted for ten years before he retired with feet problems. very strong and needed all the bit one could have for the first half hour for sure. My current hunt horse [linked photo] is a DWB/CLYDE [alleged in writing] cross. With some advanced armature help we overcame his reluctance to load. he is not bothered by the hunts commotions or hounds and he keeps up well. he is not as brave as the paint but improving. both untroubled by my weight. the new horse rather than strongly forward for the first half hour can be fractious.
I can't give you any advice about bitting, since I hunt my horse in The Bitless Bridle (www.bitlessbridle.com). If I put a bit in Buddy's mouth, he stumbles badly and puts his chin on his chest. He goes just fine, and I have plenty of brakes and steering with it.
I believe there is a huntswoman that uses the same bridle on her mare; I recommended to her and she loves it. JME.
Tulsa-QH; Atikus-Danish Warmblood; Buddy-QH; Winston-Shire; Thomas-Percheron/TB; Mac-Belgian Draft, gone but never forgotten
Do you remember the scene in Jaws after seeing the Great White, Brodie says "We need a bigger boat!" Sometimes, you just need a bigger bit...
I hunted my horse in a Uxeter Kimberwicke (snaffle)... A mild bit, but a little extra when you need it. And sure, after 30 or 45 minutes when the hounds are fresh and after a few good gallops, he would be easier to handle and I would loosen the strap.
BUT, when 15 couples decided to run riot on a group of feral pigs... Right through the field, in the dark woods, I can tell you my horse was not on the aids, the only aid I had was his GO button. I was thankful that I was decently bitted. This was a hot, fast horse and he was a very clever hunt horse. But, it's not dressage and it's not a trail ride, it's at times, fast and furious... If the Master reverses field, you need to get out of the way NOW!
My advise to you is make sure you are safe and if that means more metal, well then so be it. You don't want to be using the horses in front of you to stop and if you do it enough, you will surely be called out for it or you will be the topic of discussion at breakfast. Besides being rude, it is dangerous.
If you can ride in a snaffle and have the control you need, wonderful... Otherwise, people can say that you died classically....
And too, I suppose it depends on which flight you choose to ride and which hunt you ride with... I am quite sure that I was hunting with OUTLAWS....
Have fun and KICK ON! You are going to become addicted and have the time of your life. Never again will you look at a big open field in the same way...
I'm SOOO glad someone pointed out that dratted running martingale should be adjusted to the horse's hip. Please make sure you take a 4 ft carpenter's level with you so you get it juuuuuust right. That old school folding it into the throatlatch thing is so passe'.
Awww, wateryglen, your tale of the fieldhunter friends nickering their welcome made my day! : - )
I'll give you an example of why you might need more bit even if your horse is in front of the aids.
I hunt my semi-retired dressage mare, Duessa. She is like a Peterbuilt compared to my TB. We will call him a Beetle by comparison (and he is 17 honest hands tall with a brain the size of a gnat in the field)..so in my quest for a nice long life, I hunt my dressage horse. Her size and strength will come back into the tale.
The first time I hunted her, all was prefectly well MOST of the time. Her heart just about leapt out into my boot when the hounds were letout, but no real biggie.We were in a lot of brush and we stayed toward the back of the field. Then we moved along to a ovely hay meadow, freshly mowed and huge...vast...and we were still toward the back as we ventured into this fairy tail. Well, Duessa kept getting stronger and stronger and kept passing every horse in the field and I had no brakes. None. I had given a brazillion and two half-halts, moved to sawing, then to see sawing, then to gee hawing and that mare wasn't stopping. I finally managed a turn as she was just about the eek past the Field Master. The magic is that she raised her arm and we all stopped at that point. And my mare stopped nice and square and my arms were almost still in the sockets.
I got punked. I moved to the full bridle the next week. There is a temper tantrum story about the first time out in the fb as well. She, knowing the chase, got furious that I "had her" and she could not race to the front of the group. She kept trying to advance and I did have half halts and after one too many,. She reared and broke the visor of my hard hat. But that only happened the first time in the full bridle. All has been well since.
But I gotta say that it is beyond a thrill to open up the throttle on her and I'll hunt her as long as I can, although this year, we will be relgated to the back because she is in foal!