Less is Definitely More

The season has started out super for Eor The Terrific (aka Louis) and I. We’ve certainly done and continue to do our homework with specific coaches (Harrison Ford, Kyle Carter, Michael Pollard and Daniel Sarango). I also took a look at the equipment I was using and made specific changes, for instance I’ve hung up a particular bit and made the change to a softer full cheek Waterford with a running martingale.


Like magic, I have a happier horse. It took me awhile to figure out what seems to work for Louis, who is known to pull like a freight train. I’ve had a couple professionals ride him and they both handed the reins back to me winded and red faced. “I don’t know how you do it Zeb”, they said to me.

I was convinced that I needed a thin port Pelham with a chain. It not only made Louis lean and press hard against it, and it also curled his head and made him body sore. For this horse, this bit design only made the situation worse.


A lot of good ideas come to me while I’m sleeping, and it finally came to me of a simple solution. I also told myself that Lou’s happiness is the most important thing and I’ve nothing to lose. I decided to pull out my full cheek Waterford and use the running martingale attachment. It’s a softer bit that got me the response I’ve been looking for, and Louis’ comfort and happiness.

We had a positive weekend at Chattahoochee Hills last week, with a 31 in dressage, clear cross country and clear stadium that put us in 6th place. Lou went home feeling confident with zero body soreness. The old saying of “less is more” definitely applied to my situation.

The photos on this story were from last week with us using the Waterford and running martingale.      Photos by Liz Crawley Photography


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