My riding lesson with Tigger last week was pretty bad. Lessons like that are certainly instructive for me (not fun, but helpful), but Tigger was being a jackass even when Wendy was in charge. At least it wasn’t just me. He didn’t do anything new (and I didn’t fall off) – he did the same old refusing to stay along the wall, veering off in the wrong direction thing, and all my leaning back and yanking the other direction (to Wendy’s shouted instructions) did nothing. Over and over and over again. At the point in the lesson where I would normally start cantering, I told Wendy that I wasn’t feeling terribly confident about that part and while normally I would try not to let my lack of confidence get in the way, maybe we could skip that part…? She had already come to that conclusion, so I didn’t have to worry about that.
He continued to be a pain in the ass, though, so eventually Wendy switched out his normal bit for something called a pelham bit, which is more restrictive. I’ve looked it up, but there are so many variations (and I don’t know what kind of bit we were using before) that I don’t really know what’s different about it. EXCEPT THAT IT TOTALLY WORKED. From the second Wendy put that thing on him, he behaved for me. It was great (considering that we started the jumping portion of the lesson after that), and since Wendy thinks he’s going through a phase, we’re going to keep using that bit for a while. So on the one hand, I’ll have to be careful and gentle with the reins (which I need to be better at anyway, so this will be good for me), but on the the other hand, I won’t have to fight him so much. Yay!
Then someday we’ll switch back to the gentler bit and he’ll take his revenge, but that’s Future Me’s problem.