I must apologize to PJ for being cheap and lazy. One day towards the end of September, PJ shook his head after I put on his bridle. I just chalked it up to him having a fly on his neck. He only did it quickly and then he was fine. A few days later, he did it again but this time I knew there wasn’t a fly. Because he recovered right away I didn’t worry too much, but this pattern continued through the fall. He did it maybe once every seven or eight rides. By the time I got truly suspicious, the bad weather hit and there was no riding anyway.
Fast forward to the last few weeks. On the first nice day when I could ride, he did the same thing he had done last fall. Subsequently, he started to get weary of the bridle. He knows he gets a sugar cube when he takes the bit but he was turning his head away from me when I went to put the reins over his head. As early as before the holidays I had an idea it could be the bridle. I now took a good look at it. It’s a hand-me-down from not just my last horse, but the one before that. I always knew the browband was a little tight and the crown rested right behind his ears, but it seemed okay. And now for the reason for the apology. I just didn’t want to go out and buy a new one. But PJ was getting progressively worse about bridling so I knew I had to do something.
Before rushing out to the tack store, I ventured up into my attic, which is home to a variety of old bridle parts. Most were cob sized but I did find the original browband that went with the bridle he’s wearing. It was a whole inch bigger than the one he had on. I swapped it out and over the last few days I’ve been able to ride, he’s seemed much better. Of course, this browband has a row of little gold hearts on it, which is not our style, but it will have to do until some tack store has an outrageous sale. It’s only a schooling bridle, after all.
I did, however, purchase him a bridle with a fancy browband just for shows. I can’t wait for it to get here. The bridle has a padded noseband and crown. The browband is very blingy with silver and abalone shell beads. Hopefully, that’s enough to make it up to him for having to wear a bridle that didn’t quite fit right. Sorry PJ.