Yesterday’s ride was not great. PJ was forward but chewing the bit and not in a good way. When I told Barbara about it, she asked, “Was he forward or energetic?” Okay, so maybe he was energetic more than classically moving forward from back to front. But I was still concerned enough about his chewing the bit that I switched him back to the Happy Mouth mullen. After talking to Barbara about my concerns (mainly, my fear that I am ruining PJ), she suggested that she get on. Great!
While she went back to the house to change clothes, I warmed PJ up. The change in bit did make a difference, but Barbara made a bigger one. She worked mainly at the walk. She said that PJ was out behind, so that’s what she worked on. She also said he tried to duck out of the contact but she wouldn’t let him. She has very good feel; something that I lack.
After doing a little trot, she suggested I get back on. I immediately felt a difference. He was much more consistent into the contact, so that when he did try to loose it, I could feel it and correct it. The goal was to keep him pushing from his inside hind. As we went around the turns I had to use a lot of inside leg, with some fluttering of the inside whip, along with a wide use of the inside rein and a release so he couldn’t hang and being there with the outside rein. To me he didn’t feel as forward but Barbara said he was really pushing from behind. We just did some walk and trot but by the end, PJ was tired, confirming that he was using himself.
We agreed that for a little while, Barbara will get on before I do. Hopefully, her consistency will help PJ understand what his job is and not be so anxious when the bridle comes out.