My horse was on autopilot today. Or, at least, that's what I told myself.
Things have been going along nicely with Milo. I can pretty consistently maintain relaxed stirrups, looking up is still here and there, but the results when I do sit up tall and strong are too incredible to forget. Today, my horse didnt for one stride feel like two guys in a horse suit. From the warm up walk, to the first few steps in the lope, he was moving and driving so well.
Sure, there were moments when everything wasnt perfect - but when is that ever going to happen anyways? I was very pleased with the quality of movement my horse was presenting to me, as well as the fluidity I was finding in my own body.
Now, the autopilot I should touch on. As mentioned in my last post, during a downward transition there may be a period of time where the stride gets taller rather than longer, and it feels like it takes all of mine and Milo's concentration to maintain the forward energy into the downward transition. That was no exception today, but I must add where I felt my horse simply wasnt responding. We were loping along, and I wanted the trot. No response. Horse, you need to stop when I ask for it. Now I wanted a stop, my horse needed to respond to my body and voice asking for the halt. Some reminder at the walk, trot, and lope that Woah really means "WOAH!" Things went well for a little while after that, then he felt like he was motorboating again - not just at the lope but now at the trot, especially after coming down from the lope and he feels excited over just loping.
However, more work on soft, fluid, and forward downward transition, and our Woah got even better. Rounded back, parked booty, suddenly the slide stop I felt we had been losing lately was starting to come back.
The whole point of this post? Why was Milo "not responding" to my body cues for a downward, or even just a slower pace (at the trot)? Was it coming from my body, or was my horse really on "autopilot"? I didnt notice any differences from our exceptional transitions to our lack thereof, in my body. Is it easier for Milo to continue at the same pace then to focus on transitioning and concentrate? Not sure.
No matter the "imperfections" or questions from the ride, it really was very good. Exceptional, actually. We even started adding come small counter canter back into our work - canter serpentines to be exact. Now that I think I am getting back in tune with my body, we can try and work towards our reining patterns again. Or am I getting ahead of myself? No agenda!