I pressed Barbara to get on PJ today because I’ve been very frustrated with the progress of our canter depart. I knew there was a miscommunication between PJ and I but I had little clue about what it was. Barbara had resisted cantering him because she thought it would bigger movement than she could handle, but I’ve always thought she gave herself too little credit. She has great balance. That and I didn’t think PJ’s canter was all that bad.
To make herself feel more confident, she lunged PJ in the triangle reins to confirm that he was responsive to her aids – went forward and half halted. Then she got on. She got him to canter right away and figured out the problem and realized his canter is actually very comfortable. The problem: my connection isn’t consistent enough. The letting him out into stretchy trot and bringing him back up has been helping with this, but we’re not quite there yet. Barbara had me get on and got me to ask him to canter – he did it for me too!!!! Problem is, I was so excited about him listening that I can’t remember what I did differently from before. I can’t recall how PJ was feeling. Was he forward more? Did I half-halt him before I asked? I was so overwhelmed with what I absorbed watching Barbara ride him, what she was telling me in the moment, and the glory of my own success (and I had skipped lunch) that my brain did not register HOW I got there. Big time brain fart. It happens on occasion – there’s only so much input my brain can handle.