So, Tuesday I rode on my own and thought it went well. Wednesday I had a lesson and it was horrible. Barbara said the key to getting him going was to get him on his hind end. She had me “half-halt drive, half-halt drive…” the whole time. To me it seemed like he was behind my leg the whole time. It was very different from how he went with Bridget and I was very disappointed.
Thursday, Bridget rode him and he hadn’t lost anything in the two times I rode him. He was actually better than last week when she rode him because I think he wasn’t as tired.
Friday I had another lesson. We worked on the same thing (half-halt and drive) but I used my whip when I thought he was behind the leg, so it went a little better. I don’t think Barbara liked me doing that because she said it put him on his front end. I really don’t know what to do. I try to keep my body up and back to keep his whithers up. I get so exhausted just going around the ring twice. And I’m sorry, I’m not that out of shape – I go to the gym four days a week!
I’m more disappointed than frustrated. I wanted PJ to be my long-term horse (think GP) but it looks like he just doesn’t have it in him to go, which really means sit behind and push and collect. Yes, some of it is strength but not all of it. Of course, his slow attitude is also what makes him so safe. I still have a lot of holes in my own training that I think working with PJ will help. I’ve changed my goals and now I’m just hoping I can get him into second level, which at this pace, could take 4 or 5 years. Maybe I just shouldn’t think that far ahead. I love him and I should just enjoy him and learn all I can. If I get to the point where I feel that I’m not gaining in my education, then I should re-evaluate what to do. I just really don’t know.