I had a lesson scheduled for last Thursday, and I asked my trainer to ride Phil first. Not just because of our little incident on Tuesday, but because I wanted her to feel what he was doing. After my last lesson I tried hard to let go of Phil, like we worked on in that lesson. But then I felt that he wasn’t taking my half-halts very seriously, if at all. Once I let him go, he just wanted to go go go!
So my trainer got on him and soon she was feeling the same thing. He wasn’t taking much of a half-halt. She had to be rather firm with him, and give him some big “I mean it” half-halts. Then they were able to get down to work. She ended up riding him for the whole lesson, which is fine with me. You can see the whole video of it here –
And yeah, you saw that right. Phil did a clean flying change each direction. I almost cried. My trainer said that the counter canter was really helping him be straighter, and helping him get over his back and relax a bit, and it just felt like she could ask for the change, so she did. And happily Phil just did the change with no fuss. Like it was no big deal. This is fantastic!!
We discussed his status after her ride. She felt that he was starting to take over a little bit, but didn’t really think it was a bad thing. When I first got him he had no confidence, and was terrified to make a mistake. Now he’s gaining confidence, starting to come into his own, and have an opinion about how things ought to be. And that’s GOOD. However, she said “He must realize that he’s not flying the plane here.” Which means he’s got to be obedient when asked to do something. But we don’t want to squash his confidence. If we do this the right way, he could end up being brave and bold, but also obedient and submissive.
I mentioned that he seems to be hypersensitive, but also selectively deaf to some aids. My trainer agreed, and said that he just needs to realize that he has to listen all the time. Again, we just need him to be obedient.
We're making progress. It's slow and steady, but it's progress. I've got my name in line for a stall at my trainer's barn for a month of boot camp with Phil. Imagine the work we can get done with 3 sessions with my trainer a week! I hope we can work out the logistics of that. It would be really great for both of us right now!