Missed a few rides in here, so an update. Auggie had a very small amount of blood on his nathe bit about 2 weeks ago, which of course was alarming and it made me remember that his vet had said, after his dental exam and float in December, that in about 3 months he should have a recheck. So I had her out to work on him and she said he was a little uneven, but not too bad. Regardless of all that I started riding him in a Micklem bitless bridle, using the bitless option. I had a little pause when I considered the brilliance of riding a horse who came in third in a grades stakes race in a bitless bridle, but I let that thought go, another leave on the river of unnecessary worry. So, yes, just leather on his head. He LOVED it. He was much softer over his topline and took a bigger step in his trot and canter. He also jumped in a much rounder manner. There are miles to go, but this was a very good step.
So today, I put him in the bitless bridle and went for a hack with Magee and Charlie. Auggie had been kind of a basket case on a recent ride with Magee and Eddie when he had a bit in, but he was much improved today. It will be interesting to see whether this trend continues and whether/when it will work to transition him back to a bridle. The only reason that would be necessary would be for dressage. He can compete all other phases of eventing or foxhunt without a bit, no worries. We’ll see what the horse says.