More is Not Better

Today’s lesson was more is not better.  It really started last week when I learned that more leg, if applied continuously, doesn’t work.  Instead, I need to pulse my leg aid. Today PJ was great.  He went forward and collected and we even cantered (although our departs weren’t pretty).  I rode for a total of about 40 minutes, giving him plenty of walk breaks.  But I really wanted to do more.  I thought he should be able to go for a full hour. I asked him to trot and he immediately came behind the vertical and behind my leg.  He was tired.  I pushed him until I got him back up and going, and then immediately quit.

Barbara chastised me for doing more work.  She said it doesn’t matter what the clock says.  If the horse tells me he’s had enough, I need to quit.  I made it up to him by hand walking him for a half hour in a large field of tall, fresh grass.

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