Sweet because Raven rode out in her new bridle for the first time today and it was otherworldly. After ten minutes she began to understand it, and the following half hour was thoroughly enjoyable. She didn't turn into a perfect angel (it's not a magical bridle) but for the first time I felt like I was riding the same horse who I know and love on the ground. In a regular bridle Raven tends to get pushy when agitated (she's the same on the ground), and then she tends to panic when too much bit is applied in any attempt to regain calmness and control. In this bridle she still gets pushy but she is able to keep her head when I use my hands to communicate that she will not be getting things her way. This could be the best $150 I've ever spent. (As a side note, the beta material is like a cross between leather and rubber -- very nice on the hands, and it looks good too.)
Bitter (get it? BITter?) because I wonder what kind of treatment Raven had before she fell into Jenn's care. The paperwork suggests that she's had at least seven owners in her 15 years -- did one of them create these problems through harsh treatment? She is such a willing and bighearted creature in so many ways that any challenging behavior seems incongruous with her underlying nature. Of course she'll be living the good life from herein, but sometimes you wish they could use words rather than actions to tell you where they've been.