His peach-fuzz nose nuzzles my hand as I gently push the bit toward his mouth. He opens, and the vinyl-covered bit slides in. He chomps for a few seconds, and then watches me, his ears standing at attention.
The bridle’s knotted along the neoprene. His head is still too dainty to fit my old pony bridle. I stroke him, and he licks and chews as I fondle his ears.
I started by putting the bridle on as he ate. Bridle = grain. Applejack easily transitioned, even head-butting me as if to say, “Hurry up already! If you put that thing on then I get to eat!”
After ten to fifteen days, I was ready and so was he. We’d already had six rides with the halter and leadrope as a makeshift steering device.
But never a bit in his mouth.
I used my old Wintec pony bridle as usual, slipping it over his head. He watched me expectantly. He knew a treat would follow the bit. I didn’t disappoint him.
Then, I climbed aboard.
As usual, he turned his head to sniff. His ears stayed trained on me, ready for anything. I gently pulled one rein while telling him to walk on. He moved forward.
It took a little while, but he caught on to turning left and right. His ears never wavered in their mission to listen to my every command.
I’m in love.
My baby can now be ridden in a bit and bridle. By me, of course. I don’t trust anyone else yet.
I can’t wait to do it again.