July 26, 2010
I worked with Jackson for about half an hour. I rode him bareback with the bitless bridle (BB). I worked on keeping my elbows “fixed” at my side. I tried to sit upright, squeeze with my calves, and move my elbows with my hips. As a result of trying to feel what was going on in his back, I felt more clearly that his rib cage was swinging side to side. I found that my hands went side to side very softly. Is this okay?
I really tried not to pull on his face, but to lengthen the reins and gently vibrate my fingers to get him to break at the poll. This did feel pretty good. I felt that he “engaged” much more quickly.
I also worked on the shoulder in and haunches in. I did this mostly at the walk, but a little at the trot. He does have a harder time doing haunches in on right bend.
I did a little at the trot and it felt pretty good. I would also drop the reins, brace myself a little on his withers, and encourage him to go forward (long and low). He then did a nice engaged trot (I think). It did feel nice, if somewhat bumpy, hence the hand on his withers. Once, when he had a nice trot going, I asked him to do a little half pass, and he did a couple of nice steps. Yay!
That’s about it.