Jasper was SO angry about having the Waterford in his mouth. He HATED it. Sure did listen though, a little too well. He tried rooting a few times, popped himself in the mouth, and about flew over backwards. I was being as soft as possible and trying to leave some slack in the reins but he still went around tense with his ears back. It wasn't all because of the bit... he was hyper and wanting to run and really just wanted to give all his attention to the horses in the nearby field. He would speed up and then realize the punishment was that damn bit and would throw his head up in defense. And then down in defense. And then get angry and begin to hop. So anyway I'm just going back to the KK Ultra for dressage and the French Link for jumping and am going to quit worrying about his tongue. I believe I'm going to try the Waterford on a horse at the ranch that pulls the reins out of the boys' hands. I think it might be perfect for him.
Today was a great ride. Same arena, but the middle of the day instead of dusk with all the horse eating shadows. I set up a grid, barrels, one stride to a vertical, one stride to a second vertical, 2 strides to barrels. I'd say the verticals were about 2'3, a little higher than the barrels. The first time we fleeeeeewwww through it and did the 2 strides in one. I second guessed myself... was that really a long one stride? I thought I measured 30'. So we did it backwards and lo and behold, it was two. I discovered something really important today. Jasper responds to half halts between jumps. I never even tried before because I totally assumed he'd be oblivious to them. We jumped the grid both ways, first from a trot and then from an easy canter. Our last time through we landed over the last vertical, I gave a half halt and a "whoa!" and got a nice 2 tot he barrels. He was balanced enough after barrels that he was able to stop easily and smoothly and I jumped off and gave him lots of praise. Good 'nuff...!
It's the first time we've jumped since he injured his knee. He seemed very sound to me. He'll have tomorrow off for sure, then I'll go out on Tues. or Wed. to see how he's doing.