Mounting up on PJ today was like slipping on my favorite pair of jeans. It was comfortable and put a smile of my face. I know that riding other horses is good for me but I really like my own horse, and being able to stop is nice.
However, I did take something away from my experience in Vermont. The horse I rode was very steady with his head, and if I pulled on the reins he got stronger, so I just “assumed the position” and kept my hands still by the withers. It helped me to keep my elbows by my side, which then helped me stay straight. Today on PJ I kept my hands a little lower and let him find my hands instead of me chasing his mouth. It helped me keep my position better.
I also rode with my stirrups tied to my girth. Although I don’t know if I will be able to keep my lower legs as still once I stop tying my stirrups, it did change my hip angle. I have to get used to it but I think it’s for the better. I feel more effective overall. I got him to go. I even was able to get him to canter. I’m planning to keep my stirrups tied for a while, so that my muscle memory can take over because it’s still not easy. But PJ doesn’t seem fazed by my new position and things seem to be improving, albeit slowly, but it’s better than plateauing.