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Open Bridle or Blinders?

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

So Sky has been acting out lately. Sometimes she is very naughty and sometimes just slightly so. I have noticed that she seems spookier, jumpier and a little less confident. It got me thinking about her blinders.

When I re-started her last year she was very spooky and nearly bolting when just wearing the halter as I ground drove her. Once I put her bridle on with the blinders she settled right down and seemed to get to work. It was as though her bridle meant work and she knew how to do that.

This year she is spooking at things that aren’t there. She has taken off with me a few times and just seems out of sorts. So I decided to order open cheek pieces for her bridle!


I ground drove her with Zorro a few days ago. It went so well I decided to put her in the travois!

She was definitely less spooky. She wasn’t looking for things to worry about. She could see all that was happening and took it in stride. She didn’t mind the travois at all.

I brought Zorro along with us because when she has ground driven or pulled the cart with the blinders on she was very chargey and spooky when Zorro was along. She was quiet and totally fine with having him along this time. Even when he wanted to be up beside her and was being a bit of a jerk, trying to push her around a little bit. She knew what was up and just ignored him.


On the way UP the road she was a Rock Star. She didn’t mind the neighbor horses racing around, running up behind us, running up beside us, snorting and just plain making a racket. That didn’t bother her at all! And I was so grateful they were doing such a wonderful job of helping me!

Then we turned around to go home and all the rules changed! She was chargey and snorty. She was trying to take off and bouncing around. We did TONS of circles and figure of eights in the middle of the road with the neighbor horses racing around. Again I was grateful for their training help! When she could stop dancing and prancing then we moved on. We went towards home and then away from home. We did lots of circles and figure of eights in front of our driveway.

Through all this Zorro stayed calm and connected to me in the middle. He would just stand quietly while Sky bounced around us. A few times she gave him a pretty good whack in the legs with the end of the travois and he didn’t mind at all! I think he is ready to be hooked to the travois.

I took her out again today and she did great. She had her moments, but I was able to calm her down very well with just a little fluid rein and well timed half-halts.

We are going to another group drive with the Ten Mile Drivers tomorrow, but I will drive her in the blinders. I haven’t had time to put her to the cart without them yet and don’t think that situation is the best place to do that for the first time.

I’ll keep you updated on the next step!

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