Sunday I had a rough day with Dante. We were back to lunging in his cavesson and he was also back to throwing a fit. Specifically, when asked to trot from a walk, he gave a buck and resistance and this was going both directions. He was also very excited that day and was invasive into my space in a rude way. So frustrating as he went lovely when I lunged him for the vet.
Monday we did other free play work and he was calmer.
Today, I lunged him in the halter and he went perfectly again with no resistance at the walk-trot transitions.
So it could have been the weather Sunday, because he was off of work for several days when we had storms blow through and stay for five days. However, I’m beginning to think it is the cavesson. Sunday I lunged him in that, and today I lunged him in the halter.
I’ve felt for some time – that despite paying for a custom piece (argh!) that took forever to get here (double argh), the fit wasn’t good for him. The problems are several: a.) he is has an unusual sized head – the jaw is draft size, the muzzle is more petite; and b.) buying a quality cavesson in the US that would fit him, is pretty much damn near impossible (trust me, I’ve looked, compared measurements, returned merchandise).
With the one I custom ordered, the side pieces seem to be close to this eyes and I could get them lowered if I clamped down on the throatlatch – but the throatlatch is too far forward and slips between the chin and large back jaw area. Also, where the side pieces attach to the nosepiece, it is too high. If I cranked down the nose piece really super tight, he can’t receive food rewards and it is also uncomfortable for him.
Dante is a bit fussy with his head. He doesn’t like having the top of his nose touched and he throws a fit if nasty little bugs fly around his face.
I’m leaving in a just a bit to take it over to a western tack store and see if they can make a few changes on it to improve it’s function – while trying to keep it looking pretty and strong. The Dressage tack store master saddler is going to be out of town 2 weeks and we are in the midst of show season – so no, I’m not going to wait around for whenever he is back in town.
Update: dropped off and moving the cheek pieces will be about $12 which is great financially. Now let’s hope they do a real pro job on it. We agreed to wait on moving the throatlatch until after we see how the noseband changes effect the fit.