I love the new stirrups. They even helped with my sitting trot. Still need to do a lot of work on my part but at least now I see improvement.
I also love my horse. My ride started out horrible. He was so out behind and on his forehand that when I half-halted he almost fell down. When he’s going well, I can go from trot to walk without using my hands – just seat. I couldn’t even get him to slow down off my seat today. Whereas Barbara would have concentrated on going slow but in balance, I don’t have the same feel. Instead I started off trying trot-walk transitions but that didn’t work. I went to trot-back-up (trot-halt through the walk-back-up) transitions. That worked very well. After backing up, I sent him forward in trot and got good trot that he allowed me to regulate, including going to walk without having to use my hands. It wasn’t 100% consistent but I ended on a good note.
That’s when I decided to take him for a hack around the cross-country field (this is where the lovefest comes in). We’re walking down the hill and all of a sudden we’re running in the opposite direction. There was a scary overturned water tub in the field we had to walk next to. PJ just knew it was ready to attack him at any moment. What I loved was that even though it took 15 minutes, he allowed me to walk him up to the scary thing. What I also loved was that I trusted him enough to not curl up into a ball of fear at the first spook. Because I’m such a chicken, I’m always making mountains out of molehills, thinking that the tiniest disobedience or spook would lead to something that could hurt me, which would cause me to freeze up in fear (doesn’t help the situation). With PJ, I know that his bark is worse than his bite – his spooks/disobediences only go so far. I think we help each other be brave.