Smitty Week 1 Update

So it’s officially been one week since meeting the Smitster, and I couldn’t be happier with his little baby brain. Getting a baby, which I consider him since he really acts/looks more like a 3 year old than a 4 year old, has reminded me of a few things that I haven’t recalled in some time.

The first is tack woes. While I really didn’t expect my existing saddles to fit Smitty, since they are medium wide trees and he is a rather narrow fellow, I forgot how tricksy it can be to constantly be figuring out bits and bridles and all the other little things that you take for granted once a routine is established. For instance, I’ve already determined that 2 of my bits aren’t ideal at the moment for him, and added in the dressage whip as well, and we’ve only ridden 5 times so far.

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And even further in my baby tack woes soliloquy, I will likely be selling my beloved PS of Sweden bridle, since baby Smitty’s refined head is literally too small for it- the noseband on the tightest hole still doesn’t really work and I’m loathe to punch holes in it and cut off the excess.

Wah, I love this bridle.

Wah, I love this bridle.

But I suppose selling the bridle (among other things, post coming soon) will help fund the new saddle that I’ll be auctioning off my soul to buy. Le sigh, major first world problems here.

Other than tack woes, there’s just the process of sorting out what my new horse responds to. I like to use vocal positive reinforcement a lot, but I learned pretty quickly that this guy has been taught that “good boy” means “whoa”, so I’ve been trying different inflections of my voice with the phrase to reward him and teach him that he can keep trotting at the same time. I suppose I could find another phrase, but “you’re super duper” or “gold star” don’t quite roll off the tongue.

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Tonight I plan to introduce yet another bit into the mix and hope that this one sticks, and continue working out Smitty’s buttons and continue to acquaint him with his new life as a dressage and eventing pony.

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28 thoughts on “Smitty Week 1 Update

  1. bahaha Copper throws on the brakes at “good boy” too, but he knows better. I can’t wait to see how he develops for you! Babies are so fun (when they’re behaving!).

  2. Such a shame when the stuff we love turns out not to fit new ponies 😦 part of me never wants a small hony again, but on the other hand I’m loathe to part with all this gear I’ve collected!!

    • Yup- I got so lucky and Foster, Ivan, and Riley all took the same saddles and bridles. So of course now I get myself that is built nothing like those guys and have to start all over. Bring on the tack sale!

  3. New horse tack woes are the worst! However, I’m definitely interested in your PS of Sweden bridle if you decide to sell it! 😉

    Glad he is settling in! He’s really cute.

  4. My trainer loves the phrase “suuuuperrr”. I like to think the horses take it to mean they are working correctly and they need to continue working like that. It’s very upbeat sounding and encouraging

    • I thought about that one- I hear Germans use it sometimes! It’s just hard when you’ve got something so ingrained in you to say the same thing over and over again 🙂

  5. I, along with a bunch of other people, would be happy to buy that bridle off you. If it weren’t so expensive, or maybe if I were richer, I think all the new horse tack shopping would be fun. We’ve been doing a lot of similar shopping for Eugene and it’s mostly just annoying.

    • Yes- tack shopping would be worlds more fun with more money! I’m going to post a bunch of stuff for sale on the blog on Monday, so let me know if you’re interested!

  6. What a great update! Figuring all that stuff out is part of the fun, right?
    Side note: Drifter also used to think (and still occasionally does) that “good boy” means “okay stop now.” But I found it too hard a habit to for me to break! So if he tried to slow or stop at my praise, I’d just gently leg him on. He learned very quickly…so no need to find a new phrase! (Although “atta boy” rolls off the tongue nicely too!)

    • Yeah- I’m hoping that a change of inflection with the same phrase will kind of make it obvious in the beginning that I don’t mean stop, and eventually I can say it without sounding like a squeaky toy and still keep him going. 😄

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