Wednesday night produced a real jackpot when I reached the mailbox. I had been expecting three packages, and two arrived (still waiting on my Peggy Cummings book though...)! Along with the new packages shoved into our overly large mailbox, was the May edition of Horse & Rider, my favorite magazine, and some show information I had been long waiting for.
In the smaller box were four snow white polo wraps I had stolen for a mere $10 including shipping. These would come in handy for the upcoming show! I already have two white polos, but now I had a full set, plus two more to rotate when dirty. I was happy about the polo wraps, but my real excitement was in the second, larger postage box. It was like Christmas with all these new found presents scattered around me! Except I know what is inside of them.
The second box was labeled from State Line Tack, and was holding the leather lunging cavesson I had ordered last week. Indeed, I had broken down on my search to find a used one via craigslist, eBay, or online forums. But I had sold a mylar bit that covered the cost of this new cavesson, so I didnt feel too guilty. I tore open the package and enjoyed the sweet new leather smell, and was surprised that the leather felt much stronger and of quality than I anticipated with only a $34.95 price tag. I left the cavesson in my truck though, so I could try it out on Milo the next day, and tore into my new magazine.
Thursday I eagerly brought Milo down to the outdoor arena, camera in hand for photos of the shiny new tack item! I opened up the adjustable pieces and slipped the item over his ears. The front of the nosepiece was hanging awkwardly, and off to the side. I wasnt too concerned, as I still needed to make all of the adjsutments for it. I snugged up the noseband as tight as it would go, but the cavesson still was not snug around his nose. For a moment, I ignored it figuring that with time it would mold to fit better, and I moved onto the strap under his cheek. Wow, this strap barely reached the first hole! Hmm. I moved around to the other side to see if something was tangled - in my haste, I hadnt slipped the cavesson over both ears. Woops. After this fix, it sat nicer on his nose and the cheek strap fit, but the side of the cavesson was now mushed up into Milo's right eye. Hmpf, I thought and pushed it the other way, which to my mismay, only lead to the sidepiece coming up into Milo's other eye.
Fine, I wont use the browband on it, I thought, and removed that piece from the headpiece. Still, the cavesson was far too close to his eyes even when sitting centered, and I knew with any slight movement to the noseband, it would flip the opposite side into his eye. I sighed, and agreed to myself that it does not fit and I would have to ship it back. Rats! I had spent a week or more scowering online stores trying to find something that wouldnt cause this eye problem, was sturdy leather with padding, had the right rings, and the cheek strap in the right place (slightly forward, not back like a throatlatch). I was disappointed to say the least.
But I moved into lunging Milo in just the nylon halter anyways, and got some good steps with him reaching his rear up and out. Heather had brought Missy down, which caused a little distraction but not much. Once I got on, Milo was working very nicely, my back was soft and my hips were moving. The best part about the ride though was not only my right outside rein coming into better play (Im slowly getting better about riding off that rein when needed), but I found center in my hips on the right lead. Thats right, the direction my hip wants to lock into (left hip forward), I was able to combat for about two full laps around the arena. I had pushed my horse into the lope straight and on the outside rein, and for two whole laps my hips were centered, I was riding straight, and my horse, my lovely horse, was relaxed, reaching for the bit, and so balanced in his cadenced lope. It truely was an amazing moment, I was so proud of this accomplishment for the both of us. Now I can just build on it from here.