I couldn’t watch Bridget ride PJ on Monday, but I made it there on Tuesday. As she was tacking up, she told me that she was pleasantly surprised how well PJ had gone on Monday. The last time she rode him, which was about 2 years ago, he was more resistant and just not as trained. That made me feel good that I haven’t totally messed him up.
She said his biggest problem was not going forward but contact. She explained that she was having to create the contact instead of allowing him to come into the contact. What I saw was him with his chin almost to his chest, which is not desirable. I asked her about this and she said that the training is a process and at this point PJ needs the contact most and as he is more consistent, then he will come up on his own. And, sure enough, I could see him have moments were he came up and I could hear Bridget say “good boy” to him during those same moments.
She worked a lot on maintaining the contact in the up transitions to canter. With me he likes to throw his head and Barbara and I always assumed it was because I was rough with my hands, so I would let out rein. Bridget thought it was because he was not round to begin with, so the opposite of what we thought – I needed more not less contact.
She rode PJ hard but she gave him lots of breaks and told him “good boy” a lot. He was exhausted at the end of the 45 minutes. Bridget said that he was better today than yesterday, which is a good sign that only two weeks of her riding him will be enough to set us on the right path again.