angry lil bit

Have you ever wondered…..
We all have our dream horse. Mine was always a chunky, shiny, black horse with a flowing black mane and tail. I follow that closely with a buttermilk buckskin.
Do you ever wonder if a horse has a dream rider? Maybe they dream of a woman with light hands, or a man with subtle leg cues? Maybe they dream of a rider that understands the fine art of fitting a saddle or that is savvy enough to know that they hate this dang bit?
I (one of the HOP officers) work for a public riding stables and the mare pictured is the one I was assigned to ride. Boy was she a hot mess for the first few weeks I worked there. Manageable, but nervous and antsy, wouldn’t stand still without flopping her head, ran from me when I wanted to catch her. You could tell she wasn’t loving life.
I have ridden Lil Bit for 2 years now. She is very far from my dream horse. She is actually kinda not well put together and has funky eyeballs.
lil bit
But I think we have become each other’s dream team. You can see in the pictures she has her ears up and just looks a heck of a lot more relaxed under my hands, seat and equipment. She isn’t antsy any more and is no problem to catch. Unless we are standing still in a parade, she doesn’t flop her head and even that is getting better.
And folks, I know. She is wearing a Tom Thumb. And horsemen in lots of places consider them an awful bit. I personally do not like them at all. Trust me, I tried her in the snaffle, I tried her in a straight, mild shank curb, I tried her in about 8 different, “nicer” bits. But Lil Bit and I are partners, and partners take each other’s feelings into consideration. And she told me herself she was happier in the one she had been used to most of her life so I suck it up. She neck reins and stops like a dream horse now anyways.
Lil bit river
(And I now own her so she has recently changed her address to my farm btw)
We want you to ask yourself, do horses ever have a dream rider? Do you think you are it? Do you want to be a passenger or a partner?  Am I seeking out the knowledge I need to become a partner?  Am I continually growing in my horsemanship?
I hope you are lucky enough to choose the latter “p” word. It makes riding a heck of a lot more fun!
This article helps Heart of Phoenix to grow a community of knowledgeable, rational advocates, HORSE People and potential adopters who make great homes for horses in transition looking for their new homes #RIGHTHORSE