So we moved to our current barn a few years ago now. Stampede was immediately more relaxed there just stepping off the trailer. With the help of my trainer I’d say he is a fairly solid horse for me. His main issue now seems to be his fear of horse showing. He completely changes and becomes so tense and on edge. As soon as he’s in the ring alone to do his course he is just in a hurry to get it over with. Not really sure how to fix it other than to just keep showing and hoping he will get over it eventually. In the meantime it is often quite embarrassing being run away with on a tense angry beast!
My husband and I went to Hocking Hills for our anniversary earlier this week, which meant we drive right by one of my favorite tack shops in Columbus, Ohio. We stopped and I got a few things, including a used Sprenger Duo D Bit. I’d been wanting to try one for a while, but $145 is a lot to spend on a brand new bit that might not work. I’ve been riding both horses in it just to test the waters. It’s fairly similar to Stampede’s bit already, which is a Happy Mouth Mullen Mouth D Bit. Even the Happy Mouth is a bit strong at times, so I thought maybe losing the ridges would help. He’s been good the two times I’ve ridden him in it, but the jury is still out. How a horse so huge can be so sensitive I will never understand!
I’ve had a hard time finding a bit I think Phoenix likes since I’ve had him back. The simple racing D I used to ride him in when I owned him the first time seems a little strong. I have been riding him in a friend’s loose ring snaffle, which he seems to like a little better, but he still seems to play with it a lot in his mouth. Riding him in the Sprenger has been different. He is still mouthing off and on, but I felt like I could hold contact more. I think with his retraining in western while he was gone makes him a little strange about contact. He often wants to just set his head and go along, but I’d rather he use his back and hind end. The only possible issue with the Sprenger is that I felt like maybe I didn’t have enough control cantering, which may be an issue if he gets too excited out in the field. We’ll see how it goes.
Stampede is finally starting to look better weight wise. I started giving him a third grain meal in the evening about a month ago and the difference is quite noticeable. I don’t think he’ll ever be fat like his brother, but it’s a start.