A Matter of Balance

At my lesson, Barbara wanted PJ to go more forward.  I tried using my legs, posting faster and more up, and tapping with the whip, but got nothing.  I was getting frustrated, so we talked about it.  She said that my “encouraging” PJ was only confusing him and getting him to run on his forehand, instead of sitting and pushing.  Feeling the difference between forward but maybe slow, and fast was my homework for today.

I started at the walk.  At first, when I ask PJ to halt, his hind legs trailed.  I worked on getting him to reach to the bit by letting out the reins and picking him back up.  I also worked on walk-halt transitions.  When I felt that he finally pushed when I asked then I moved on to trot. It took a lot of doing trot-walk transitions but I think I got it.  Every time he started to slow down, if he didn’t go forward when I asked, then I did a downward transition.  It felt slower than I thought it should but I quit when he finally went forward when I asked instead of ignoring my aids.  It was hot and PJ was panting at the end even though we didn’t do a lot.  I think it was enough.

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One Response to A Matter of Balance

  1. Net says:

    Besides the fact I’m finding Friesian crosses are more sensitive to the heat… the panting may actually be a good thing. My TB is fit. He could go run a Training cross country course tomorrow despite not having evented in 2 1/2 years, and he wouldn’t be tired. However, after Jeremy Steinberg kicked our butts for two days in January, he spent the next month sweating and exhausted! That clinic was at the perfect time combined with what else I’d been working on that my horse was really ready to work harder, and I learned how to stop him evading that harder work. Now the level we were at just after the clinic is easy for him and once again I’m the one getting exhausted as my core attempts to keep up with his new, larger movement… but the key point being, when I was getting him to use his back end more, it made him tired until he got used to it like he had never been before, so good sign!

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