I have to apologize for deleting my last post about Adrienne’s lesson. Long story. I will briefly reiterate what she taught me. The first thing was that I should not compromise my position to get PJ to move. Where have we heard that before? Everywhere! Adrienne took it to the extreme. I was to really just have my legs laying there and my hands very still. When I wanted to have PJ move from walk to trot or even if he slowed down, I was to “whisper” with my legs. If I didn’t get a response I was to use the whip until PJ literally jumped – either into the next gait or just another gear. Then I was to immediately praise him by patting him on the neck and saying “good boy.” Then if I was doing a walk-trot transition I was to go back to walk and ask again or let him alone if we were just going. Although she didn’t tell me anything I hadn’t heard before, she did show me that PJ will respond if I am consistent. I really didn’t think he would. I thought I was stuck with a slug and I would always be working harder than him. I also doubted our ability to move up the levels because of his lack of motivation. Yes, lots of negative thoughts, but no longer.
For my past two rides since the clinic, I’ve been very consistent and PJ has actually been going forward. I have to be right on top of it but yesterday I got on and he marched off, not dragged himself around, right from the beginning. I’m doing a good job in the up transitions but I have a tendency to revert back to nagging without getting a response within the gait. I also need to praise more. But, PJ is finally responsive to my leg. I can’t wait to see how far we can go.