I took advantage of the sunny warm weekend (high 60's!) by turning the horses out and riding around outside both days. I didn't ride in the outdoor because we still don't have shoes on and the footing out there is a bit rough. We rode around the whole perimeter of the farm today. Not the most exciting trail ride, but it's better than rail work. It did get a bit exciting today though.
As we were coming along the back part of the property (shortly after I took the picture) we came upon the big manure pile area and it was all torn up with piles of dirt and tire marks and a huge puddle and for some reason all of that looked like scary horse-eating things. So we did some dancing around and snorting and I hung on and hoped he didn't dump me in the puddle. Silly boy. I would have taken a picture of the scary stuff for you, but holding my iPhone out over a puddle with a jumpy horse underneath me didn't seem worth it. Sorry. We got past it just fine and I was proud of him for (mostly) keeping his head and proud of myself for keeping my head AND my seat. It wasn't so long ago that him getting uppity would have freaked me out something fierce. I still didn't ENJOY the spook, but when it was over it was over and we moved on with our ride.
You might have noticed the English bridle in the picture. We've put our English saddle back on for a while. The transition is going much better than it did last spring when I felt like I was perched on top of the horse like a jockey. We're also trying a new bit. It's this one, a Myler dee snaffle with a curb chain. He seems to be going well in it. He's reaching down for it and is responsive when I ask him to raise a shoulder. I'm still confused about which is "worse" (if there is such a thing) between tongue pressure and bar pressure. It seems the lower level/training bits have more tongue pressure, and the level 2-3/finished horse bits have more bar pressure. He does do better when he has a curb chain than he does in a regular snaffle. A plain snaffle sends his nose up in the air and his back hallowed out. I'll continue to play around and see if we find something that he seems most comfortable in. It's a little tough when I don't have unlimited funds to buy a whole bunch of bits, though. This one is Max's, but he's never used it. I don't want to use a more severe bit than necessary, but he is not very sensitive in the mouth. We'll find it eventually.