Now that we have the rice bran out of the way, Eli can return to his normal temper tantrums as opposed to the cuckoo bananas level meltdowns. He has actually been pretty fabulous all week, although not without some venting of frustrations at being asked for contact at the canter after a few low trot fences. (See my IG for the goofiness.)
On Monday, I played with a little bit of everything with Eli: more contact at the walk, trot, and canter; canter poles; collecting the trot. Eli felt so responsive I rewarded him with Tuesday off. I kept Wednesday low-key. I don’t think we need to do the same canter pole set up yet again, and I wanted to let Eli stretch a lot at the trot. On Thursday I went back to asking for a little more from Eli, and he was very compliant until I tried a few trot fences. We haven’t jumped in AGES so that provoked a little bit of wee-ha on the back side of a low trot fence. So we did that thing both ways until Eli could finish the last trot step before take off and land without flails. To add insult to injury, I had the gall to ask for some contact at the canter after all of that. Eli disputed, which got him more contact at the canter.
I get that he is frustrated with this new question, but he can and will do it, so I am building up slowly with it and anything correct gets immediate praise. Sometimes that means three steps of something good, and we go back to walking on a long rein. He has to trust that I am not asking for anything unreasonable.
He is now getting a slightly larger grain ration. I think I will hold off on the weight-building/protein supplements for a few weeks to see how the increased ration looks on him. However, I discovered that Finish Line sells a daily liquid supplement called Thia-Cal, which has almost the same ingredients (in different portions) as the Quia-Cal paste. Since this could take the guess work out of my use of that paste, I may start Eli on this supplement next week. If he can get this stuff daily, then I won’t have to worry about when or how to give Eli the paste.
We’ll be trotting over all the things this evening to get him over his initial excitement about YAY JUMPING.