There are a couple of ways in which a consultation can happen. For a one to one, we schedule one and a half hours for a consultation - it may be quicker, but it's best to have enough time. In a clinic situation, we can have a 'rolling road' of participants, as long as participants are happy to share the arena. Ideally, we first look at the horse in the stable and have a chat with you about how things are. At this point it’s great if you’ve filled in the questionnaire as this can give us valuable background information. Equally, in a clinic set-up, the questionnaire gives information that allows us to start at the riding section.
We want to have a look at your horse’s head and mouth particularly, but the whole horse is of consideration, as confirmation affects performance – function follows form.
Examining the current bit and bridle can give more information to work with. Dry, hard leather can be uncomfortable, but the most expensive bridle won’t be any better if your horse’s head doesn’t suit the cut of the leather. Many times a bog standard plain bridle fits great apart from the browband being a bit short and pulling the headpiece into the back of the ears. Find a browband of the right length and it needn’t cost the earth to bridle your horse perfectly well. We might decide to change the bit right there in the stable or we may decide it will be useful for us to see the original bit and how your horse goes in that to start the ridden aspect of the consultation.
During the ridden consultation we may try a number of bits and bridles. The first will be based on the information you have given us. You don’t do anything different other than ride your horse, if you are going to feel a difference, you’ll feel it. Sometimes it can be instant and others can take a little while to get used to the change of feel. We move forwards through a selection to enable you to feel which has given you the best result and feel. It’s really nice to get a ‘baseline’ and go back to the bit that made the biggest difference, to check it really was that one and no it wasn’t a dream. Jesting aside, changes can be huge but not always and some horses need time to get used to the new feel of the bit and sometimes a whole new way of going as a result.
If we can help in anyway to supply you with what you and your horse need, we’d be more than happy to, but we not a hard sell company. We want to help you and your horse be the best you can be.