Experimenting

Over the next few days I want to try different things to see if they make a difference in how PJ goes or how I ride.  Today was long-and-low day.

Barbara has had me put PJ on a long rein when I first start out to encourage PJ to go forward.  The only problem is that he always goes with his head in the air and his back inverted.  Today I worked on keeping him long and low – like at the free walk or during the stretchy trot.  He started out with his head up but I was eventually able to get him to reach to the contact.  However, whenever I had to do more than just put my leg on him he raised his head.  But again, I just worked until I didn’t need to kick or whip him to get him to go, so I didn’t need to use more than a little leg.

I did leg yield on a long rein and lots of figures.  And, his trot just kept getting better and better.  I even got him to cross his legs during leg yield at the walk.  He had bounce and was tracking up – not an easy feat for him because he’s so long – and was into contact without bulging out his outside shoulder.

What does this tell me?  That I’ve been restricting him.  The long and low is only a temporary step in the right direction, but at least I found one thing that made things better.

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