Today I felt IT. You know, that clichéd “one with the horse”. PJ and I came out both exhausted. Him from his hard work yesterday. Me from a rough work-out at the gym.
I could tell PJ was tired because he wouldn’t turn. When he doesn’t turn it’s because he isn’t reaching with his inside hind leg. When we trotted off, he felt stuck. I have two techniques to get him moving. The first is diagonals. When I initially got him last year, we worked on getting him to really go down the diagonal and now he knows when he turns off the rail to kick it into gear. The second thing is transitions within the trot. I half halt him a few strides and then send him forward and usually he goes. At the walk, the best thing was what I learned yesterday – keep pushing him around the turns with my seat.
It took a while but he finally started to show some energy, so we cantered briefly. After a walk break (for both of us), I asked him to trot. It already started out better than the beginning of our ride and then after a few transitions within the trot we had IT. He felt so bouncy and easy. I thought half-halt, he did it. I thought go forward and he was right with me. It was beautiful and I quit with that even though we had maybe ridden only 30 minutes.