Re: Working in an outline
hiya; your right to keep the outside rein constant for power control and aid, but with your inside hand, do you feel you have to encourage him to flex and bend a lot with it? with the inside ideally you should get to a stage where you can hold the rein with the thumb and index finger with the others there incase you need to flex and release a bit; with your leg i like to imagine i am lifting up my horse's ribs, allowing her to elongate her spine and neck and curve her back upwards to let her hind legs rele move freely underneth her.
you were talking about trying to relax him halt; what do you do to achieve this? sitting deep as if a weight from your spine is stretching you down (while still elongating your spine up; remember your spine should be long and RELAXED like your horses, to allow your neck and head to relax and shoulders to be tense free) and your weight dives into your seat bones evenly in the seat. although you are coming down a gear to halt, you still want to feel like you are lifting your horse up and out, again by encouraging his back to curve naturally, not arch in a tense manner. this will allow his haunches to step and stop underneth him (help improve a 'square halt') and allow a smoother transition up to another gait when asked for. with your hands, a flex with your fingers on the outside rein should be enough to ask for halt and gentle enough to allow his mouth to be relaxed. your hand position, too, should be squar with your shoulders and the rein not too short. it sounds like he has a very sensitive mouth and this is a good thing - honest! it will help you be still and gentle and realise that the slightest of lightest touches can produce a beautiful movement, whether half pass, piaffe or even walk to trot transition!!! so really relax your hand; for a while think of it as a still ornament! make sure that they dont move or 'stray' over his neck and that you think of the reins as birds; you dont want to hold them to harshly or let them fly away..however, if he ever, ever decideds to play up and take you for a ride, you can squeeze the birdies!!! lol. kirst xxx