Barbara ended up riding PJ for almost an hour. She was working on him keeping his head down when asked to go forward. PJ has a tendency to raise his head with upward transitions, especially the canter depart. At first, when he was 4yo, it was definitely a strength thing. Now, she just thinks it’s a habit with him.
When I got on we first did halt-walk transitions. At the halt he wanted to curl his neck – also not good. It’s amazing how many positions he can get that long neck of his in. He knows that his neck is very flexible too. It’s quite funny on the ground when he can almost reach back and touch his own tail!
Anyway, all of this involved keeping contact but giving the contact so he could stretch his neck during the up transition. I can see how this will help everything else. I feel like we’ve been taking short-cuts up until now. Well, maybe not short-cuts, but we’ve ignored issues to focus on other issues, like his strength and my lack of feeling. I can’t wait to see where this goes.