I've written before that Phil has a huge problem when I carry a whip to ride. I think his previous training overused the whip, and probably used it as a punishment instead of an aide. So this has made him super nervous about me even carrying it, regardless if I’m using it or not.
My trainer suggested at my lesson that I start carrying a whip because she thought I could really use a little more encouragement from behind in the leg yields. I totally agreed with her, and so I started carrying a whip.
Phil thought this was a super stinky idea.
For the first week or so it was like we were back to the beginning. Phil was nervous, inattentive, and couldn’t begin to do things like be on the bit or control his speed. It got really frustrating, but I figured he’d just work out of it. However it didn't seem to be getting any better.
I complained about it on Twitter/Facebook, and my trainer suggested that I use a jumping bat instead of a long whip just to get him used to me carrying something in my hand. Well, that was a perfect solution. The jumping bat that I have is so short that it doesn't even reach as far back as the end of the saddle pad. Phil certainly knows I have it and he’s not as relaxed and steady as he was before, but he is certainly much better. Plus I get the added bonus of some really nice leg yield work! Once or twice I even tapped the saddle pad when I needed him to move his haunches a bit more and he was able to do it without losing his little mind.
One other thing – I’ve been experimenting with some home made fly sprays. I think I found one that really works well, except it loses it’s effectiveness on a sweaty horse. At first I thought it smelled really stinky, but now I’m kinda getting used to it. The first time I sprayed it on both Phil and Kaswyn they both turned their lips up. Boy I wish I had my camera out because it was great! Silly boys.
Once I get a recipe I really like I’ll go ahead and post it if anyone is interested. Of course I would come out with this at the end of summer. Both my boys are shedding their summer coats already!!!
BOO end of summer, BOOOO!