Bridget rode PJ yesterday and he started out bad. He just wouldn’t pay attention, so he wouldn’t work over his back. It took a lot of running in circles to get him to listen to her but finally he did and he looked great. He was working over his back and stretching into contact and moving from the hind end. I really don’t know why he didn’t work as well this time as last week when he was perfect from the first step.
One thing is that I don’t think I’m as demanding as Bridget is with respect to paying attention. To me, raising his head isn’t the same big deal that it is to Bridget. To me, he’s not spooking, and it’s probably my fault anyway. To Bridget, the head lifting is a spook. Either way, I’m going to try to work on this by participating in a clinic series with Tik Maynard. He’ll be coming to our farm Oct 30, Nov 6, and Nov 13 from 6-9pm. He specializes in what has been called “natural horsemanship” in addition to being a competitive eventer and jumper rider. He’s been working with a couple of horses at our barn and the results have been pretty incredible. I’m hoping he can get PJ to concentrate on me instead of his surroundings, which should translate into listening to my go aids better. If anyone from the area is interested in participating, send me a note. These are open clinics to outside people.
The second prong to my approach is to address his possible stomach issues. I’m going to take a wait-and-see approach because I’m reluctant to go to pharmaceuticals, but I’m not going to do nothing. I thought about what makes our human stomaches work better and yogurt came to mind. But I didn’t think horses would eat yogurt and it could get not only expensive, but messy. So, I did a search for probiotics and came across these treats. They are probiotic treats that supposedly contain live cultures like yogurt. They are cheap enough and I give a lot of treats anyway. I thought they were worth a try. I’ll keep you posted if I see a difference with both initiatives.