Pea was on a bute trial for November to see if it helped improve his way of going as he's been misbehaving a lot going into trot for the past few months. Our physio suggested it as she believed there was something troubling him but there wasn't actually any obvious signs. For the majority of the trial it seemed that the bute was really helping as he was behaving whilst working and we could go into trot without any hesitations or bucking.
For the first few schooling sessions we mainly stuck to walk and trot before finally deciding to try canter. Unfortunately, we don't seem to be doing well with canter which is a bit of a shame. On the lunge he's not too bad with canter although he does break into trot easily and it can take a bit of persuasion and chasing to keep him in the gait. The weather hasn't been too helpful unfortunately for me to keep trying as it's led to lots of puddles in the arena which Pea isn't too keen about going through!
The first few schooling sessions where Pea actually behaved for trot, he was also a bit sluggish and not very energetic in his paces so I've been schooling him with spurs on. They do seem to be helping but we are also working on doing lots of transitions and lateral work to get him to use his back-end as he can be really lazy with it and lean on his forehand. This does seem to be helping, along with the regular pole work, as he's starting to soften well (other than when he's trying out his giraffe impressions with the wind!) as well as flexing better. Some attempts are better than others but I always know he's never going to be perfect for an entire session!
Annoyingly, the last two schooling sessions have led to him starting to misbehave when I ask for trot again. He is still on the bute trial, being in his last week, and nothing else has changed so I'm not really sure what is causing it. I'm booking in a lesson this week to see what my instructor thinks as I thought the bute was helping his way of going but now he's misbehaving I'm not so sure!
Let's hope that December brings better things! Whilst Pea's flatwork is getting better, it's not great having him misbehave when I ask for trot, especially when he's pretty stubborn about moving forward again and will happily ignore my leg or sharp taps with the whip! We also need to work out what to do with his canter as it feels like he simply can't rather than he won't. Sometimes it would be so much easier if horses could just talk!
Thanks for reading,