A Modified Approach

At my lesson yesterday, Barbara had me try a different approach to get PJ moving.  We did trot-halt-trot transitions.  The goal was to have him jump into the trot and sit into the halt.  We had started with walk transitions but they didn’t get PJ motivated enough.  The biggest problem I had was getting PJ to sit in the downward.  He has super sensitive air breaks so if he just thinks I am thinking stop, he immediately breaks.  It doesn’t allow me to collect him and have his hind legs stay underneath him.  We got a couple of good downwards and he usually trotted off right away.

One thing that I still had trouble with was keeping PJ trotting forward.  Yes, he jumped forward when I asked but then quickly faded.  Today I worked on that by asking him to trot off and when he started to slow down I did a halt transition.  It was not a reward to him because he had to work to sit into the transition.  I used what he did know (trotting off crisply from the trot) to teach him something he had trouble with (keeping him going).  I’m hoping that for our next ride, instead of doing a complete halt, I can just half-halt and get him to stay going forward.

We ended today by going on a hack.  I wanted to see how much damage the hurricane and flooding had done to the trails.  I could see how high the water rose, but the part of the trail I was on was only wet but otherwise in good shape.  At one point it was a little too wet, so PJ and I just cut through the fields higher up where it was dryer.  I made him trot up the hill to help his fitness and I practiced sitting trot.  We stopped at an apple tree on the way back to the barn.  He liked that part a lot.  All in all, it was a good ride and a fun time.

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One Response to A Modified Approach

  1. Annette says:

    I had tried to comment on your blog and my work firewall wasn’t working suggesting that! The latest Dressage Today has an article with Heather Blitz discussing walk/back/walk transitions, then trot/back/trot transitions, to canter/back/walk/canter. She mentions it as a way of getting the horse in self carriage and in front of the leg, and it’s been working amazingly well with my guy. Too well, in fact – he keeps taking off at the canter if I take a deep breath, so I’m trying to balance in front of my leg with hypersensitive.

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