Getting slightly frustrated/feel like all i do is fight with my horse
Normally phoenix is a sloth, for the past year and a half (with a few exceptions) i've mostly had to work to get him moving when I ride. Normally I want more, more, more from him and sometimes he gives it and sometimes he just doesn't.
So let me explain my week to you. I rode last sunday and phoenix was having a lazy sloth day, he basically trudged around the arena and no amount of kicking or using my "driving seat" worked to get him to give me what I wanted. I figured that's just him, plus it was very muddy and squishy. Then I didn't work him for a few days due to work and the weather, during this time the BO's rotated some of the fields and phoenix and his group were moved from the big front pasture to the big side pasture that has been resting since mid-summer last year.
Anyway, I went to the barn friday and got him out to work him, I tacked up and lunged him. Different horse altogether, he was super fast and super excited on the lunge line and then under saddle he was like a little rocket. Fine at the walk, although much faster than normal and then at the trot he was very fast indeed. I put this down to the nice weather and him feeling frisky.
Saturday I set up my new standards and let him free jump. I started with just ground poles leading up to the standards and then no poles in the standards to let him have a look and get used to the idea of it again (he hasn't jumped since last september when our old standards were taken away by a boarder). Then once he was warmed up I put them up in increments, I think the highest they went was maybe a foot and a half. He was so excited, he loves to jump and was galloping round the field and then slowing to pop over the jump and then galloping off again. He was bucking and just really having a good time.
The I went out today, I decided to ride again and maybe just do a little trot work and lots of walking and stretching and such. Well, he was frisky on the lunge line again and then when I got on he was fine at the walk but at the trot he was once again all go, go GO! I decided that today i'd take advantage of this new frisky horse and since he was offering more energy i'd try and get him working more on the bit. I did some half halts and he felt like he rounded out, I can't tell what it feels like when the horse back lifts but his trot got very springy and slowed down some. Then after a few strides it felt like he was throwing on the brakes and he'd fling his head up in the air and trot off at his mad fast trot again. I tried slowing him with my outside rein, which he ignored so we'll have to work on that, and with my posting but he was charging around and I just felt like I spent a good 20-30 minutes fighting with him.
I wanted to end on a better note than us having a battle so I took him for a cool down walk down the driveway and between the two front pastures, we did some suppling exercises and this seemed to slow him down some and calm him down a bit.
I never have to deal with a forward horse, like I said i've been riding sloth-man for over a year and suddenly he'd all forward and fast. Not what i'm used to at all. Is it normal for a horse who isn't used to working on the bit to only be able to work like that for a few strides until they build the correct muscles, should I stop being so hard on him? It's just frustrating, if i'm not wearing myself out asking for more i'm wearing myself out trying to calm him down. Where is my happy medium horse? I'm sure I asked for one of those.