I experimented with getting the bridle on—she turned her head but I didn’t want to cue her mouth open with my thumb and so I just waited and she nearly fell asleep with the bit up against her teeth… yeah, nope. So Karen had mentioned teaching horse you take off the bridle helps, as well as putting on the bridle wrong in every which way until the horse is like, here, and opens his mouth, saying “the silly bit goes here!” I did this for a while and she did start to realize that the bit/bridle is most comfortable in the right spot in her mouth vs hanging off one ear/pinching her lips/etc. She never quite just grabbed the bit for me but did open her mouth.
She bridled better today! I spent a few minutes putting on the bridle in the most bizarre and awkward ways and instead of getting ticked she just kept trying to help in this hilariously patient, endlessly longsuffering teaching mode that I’ve not really seen from her before… lowering her head… turning towards me… getting calmer and calmer and calmer… and finally the bit got up against her teeth and she just opened her mouth a hair and let it slide in like, “oh, really now, this is where the silly thing goes.” And what was amazing is that I have never, ever seen her so calm in bridling. Her head was almost to the ground, eye so soft she was almost asleep, and her mouth was dead quiet and completely closed around the bit—she was actually holding it there for me! I couldn’t believe it.
When I offered the bit to Maia she right away cracked her jaw! She didn’t open her mouth but the offer of ¼” was nice. ;)
Spiraling and energy when riding
• Karen suggested an alternate way to get a spiral out is to