But why, why would Freckles have to carry his head in a certain way if he does not choose so himself?
I absolutely agree! I have to add, however, that it is my job to teach him the best way to carry himself, and understanding ramener is part of the knowledge he needs.
would that metal not get really hot in the sun and burn Freckle's cheek? (Just wondering).
It perhaps would, which increases the need for sheepskin!
Now then. I think that you're all thinking that I want to climb on his back and demand ramener. That's not it. I want to teach it to him on the ground and voice-cue it so that he can feel the benefits. The point I was making was that he has not understood
a request for ramener until I tried to ask with this bridle. Oh, and I only asked once. And praised the daylights out of him for getting it right!
It will come under saddle when the time is right because he will offer it. That will probably be when he learns to rotate his pelvis more often than just when trotting over poles or playing free - which requires building his "top-line" muscles, which means lots of trotting on hills, which means a bridle that works for both of us. He started showing a little collection at liberty a week ago, but the head is all over the place.
I ride with loose reins because he is young, and we work on the first step of the pyramid - loose, free, forward, pendulum. Also, I only ride between 30 and 90 minutes a week, two thirds of which is out-ride/trail-ride.
I see any bridle as a communication aid - and this seems clearer than any I've tried so far, at least for ground-work. I still have to adjust and pad it before I do more than "stand still and flex, please" with it.
I am not even sure I would ride him yet, only take him for long long walks, and when the condition is better start groundwork and also riding when you/he feels ready.
I wish I could, but my health does not allow it - I have very little stamina, so that means ride him for those those long walks or don't go! Also, he is not confident enough to go for walks alone, and I'm not skilled or strong enough to cope with more than one horse at a time! So the only way to get him out of the stable-yard is to ride out with at least one other rider!
Everything you've all said is good "food for thought" and I will have to be careful not to choose something because it feels better for me, it must also be right for Freckles. This LG does have the potential for mis-use, but then so does any item of equipment.
I appreciate the way that responding to your comments and opinions forces me to clarify my thinking.