Back when I first started showing PJ, I wasn’t sure if it was better to let him look at things outside the ring or demand that he pay attention during the test. I ended up letting him look for a stride or two and then ask for his attention. I thought if I demanded that he not look that he may feel claustrophobic and I wanted showing to be a pleasant experience.
Well, I now think it may have been the wrong decision. PJ is so good that I let him get away with a lot more than I would a horse that was bad. So, you want to look? I know you’re not going to go bolting in the other direction, so it’s okay. You want to eat a little grass as I walk you to the field, I know I can drag you back to the path.
I think my leniency has translated into my riding. PJ just doesn’t listen to my aids and I think it’s because he considers us pasture mates (friends) instead of me being the alpha horse and him being beta. I’ve sacrificed him wanting to listen to me to wanting to like me. A common mistake among parents of human children, or so I’ve observed.
What that means is that I need to get a little tougher with him on the ground. He needs better manners. As previously mentioned, he’s just such a good boy, I’ve gotten lax. At least temporarily, I’m going to be a bit of a hardass. And hopefully that will help under saddle. Tik’s clinic should definitely help with this too. Live and learn and hopefully not die in the process.