Thursday, August 28, 2008

"I'm a man!!! I don't need no stinkin' instructions!!!

Tonite we went Nurtural! I have been riding Tripp with the halter and lead, and didn't have the heart to put the bit back in his mouth after him not adjusting to it as quick as I think he should have. Besides, he was doing fine without the bit, so why bother? I started checking into bitless bridles - mainly because I never could figure out how to tie a good knot out of the lead line.

I checked out the Dr. Cooks site, and I also found the Nurtural Horse site. In between that, I also checked out one of our fellow competitors site and noticed that one of their sponsors was, and I saw in some of their pictures that they were using the bitless bridle. I e-mailed and asked several questions...then I bit the bullet 3 1/2 weeks before we leave for Texas and got one. They have used both, and in their opinion the Nurtural was a little more gentle with less pull, not that the other one was harsh. They just preferred Nurtural.

I ordered a brown horse sized one in the Beta, which is the synthetic material that looks like leather. I like leather a lot, but the price difference slowed me down for right now.

I got my new bridle in the mail last night, but didn't have time to try it on Tripp. Argh! Nothing like getting a new toy and not having time to play with it! But let me tell ya, when I pulled it out of the box I was very impressed! I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't this! The quality was great, it seems to be very heavy duty but yet soft, and I lost any part of being unsure about getting this thing right there on the spot!

Tonite was the big night! I met Brian at the arena - I wanted a flat area to let him walk around to get used to the new feeling. First of all I had to put it on and get it fitted right. I think that is the hardest part because I want to do it all right, so I make it more complicated than what it is. :-) I am reading the instructions and fitting all the spots......

Tripp takes over the instructions! He let's me know that he is a man, he don't need no stinkin' instructions!

Here I am explaining that he might not have needed the instructions, but I did, and he would appreciate it later. I then explained that his new bridle was going to feel a little different than the halter. He appears to understand.....

After what seemed to be my final adjustments...will know for sure later....I flexed him a little bit. He did flex, altho not as good as in the halter. It was cute because he flexed and looked at me almost like he was saying "I think this is what you want, so I will just go 1/2 way, and wait here in case it is wrong." A couple times on each side and he was good.

I hopped on and we walked around a little bit. I am trying to visualize in my head the difference between the halter and the new bridle. When I would give a direct pull on the right side, he would pull his head to the left. Hmmmmmm, what to do now? I worked on my right circles first, and I would give a light pull and the second he started to turn, I would let loose of it. He did pull a few times and I had to stick with him, but I think he was getting it. We then worked on the left side, which is his hard side.

In between all this, we were maybe there 20 minutes total before the big storm came in. It went from hot, muggy, heavy air to blowing like a big dog! The sand from the arena was blowing in our eyes, and we were also watching the dust from the crop fields rolling upward. Then the rains started. Holy moly! All heck broke loose! I threw Tripp in the trailer saddle and all! The wind was so strong I could not hold the trailer door and him too, then I lost both of them! Trailer door slammed wide open, and Tripp backed up and I could not hold him. Heck, I could hardly see anything. I did step on the end of the reins, and at the same time he came right back to me. Good Tripp! I decided that was not the time to get him in the trailer before me. The wind was blowing too hard and I needed to get him in before it changed directions and blew that door shut. So I went in first and he followed me. Poor guy didn't know what the heck was happening! But we survived.

So my Nurtural bridle trial was cut short, but he was adjusting to it rather quickly. I didn't get matching reins with it because I have extra reins here. Tonite I just put my cheapo braided reins on it. I need to find my shorter roping reins...those were the ones I wanted.

Brian met me at the arena after work, so I brought him a change of clothes. This is the first time Tripp has seen someone in the trailer from that angle....he was worried at first, then went into nosey mode. That is one thing I love about him. He might get scared of something, and he might lean way back from it for a minute, but he always goes back to check it out. Ohhhh, except the plastic bags. :-)

I think we are supposed to get rain tomorrow too. Oh joy......
All I asked for was a little bit of rain to knock the dust down. You would think that by now I know to be more specific.

It is hard to believe that we are this close to Texas! Where has the time gone? Tripp and I have so much fun on the trails, and he does so well most of the time, I forget that he has only been here for 2 1/2 months. I bet most of the trainers feel that way at this point. Last year was very emotional - trainers really bonded with their mustang. I mean how could you not after spending this much time with them? This year with twice as many adult horses, it is going to be twice as emotional. The difference this year is I am not a spectator in the stands crying my eyes out for all the trainers bringing their horses in on adoption day, then crying a happy cry when they get to keep them, etc. This year I am going to have to take Tripp into the arena, and wonder if I am going to get to bring him home or not.

The weekend that we had Brian's kids and their cousins was pretty phenomenal that Tripp let them hang all over him the way he did. He was fabulous! The little devil that was sitting on one shoulder told me that I should not be putting those pictures on the blog! They are too good! Then the little angel on the other shoulder reminds me why I entered this competition, and it would not be fair to the mustangs, Tripp or myself to hold out on any of the great stuff! Luckily the little devil guy doesn't hang around very often! :-)

So there you have it....I have to laugh because I start my blog by thinking it isn't going to be very long because there isn't much to tell. Hee hee! I talked to a friend today and he told me to keep him posted. He has not checked the blog lately because it is a lot of reading...... :-) He did say it was a good thing because he could tell I was excited about what I was doing.

Anways, that is the update for tonite.....
Until later....Karen and Tripp


Angela said...


I was wondering if that storm got you guys too! I was driving on I-70 when the winds started whipping and the rain started pouring down! Glad you didn't ruin your awesome saddle and you guys were safe...that was some awesome lightning, wasn't it???

Karen Neuenschwander said...

Hi Karen, the other Karen here! I've really enjoyed your blog, and reading all about Tripp; sounds like y'all are gonna do great!

I think you'll like your new bridle. I ride my other mustang in a sidepull - it's all he needs...and it's made of beta too. I love that stuff - I literally throw mine in the dishwasher when it needs a deep cleaning - way easier to maintain than leather!

Anyhoo, I'm really looking forward to Ft. Worth, can't wait to meet you and Tripp!

Karen N.

jill said...

The new bitless bridle really enhances Tripp's pretty head. I think it is very stylish and professional looking.