Wow, what an interesting lesson last night!
Once again, Ben has changed his game. I kinda like it! Rather than being sluggish, he's got a lot more pep. Its been much easier for me to relax into the saddle and depend on him to keep going. Previous attempts at stuff like half-halts would bring on a full shut down, but now I can half halt to rebalance and push him- actually getting something somewhat decent.
It could be the cold, the fact that I clipped him, or who knows what. But he's been really fun!
Last night, after our first break, Ben was a bit of a stinker when I picked him back up and expected him to go back to work. He was posturing, kicking at my left leg, and breaking into canter even though he knew quite well we were trotting. In the canter he was getting bouncy, like he wanted to pop up and down. The key was not to punish him for the forward, but to address his reaction to my leg aid. Trainer had us do trot/halt/trot transitions. They were not crisp at all. Basically, if I wanted us to halt, he wanted to keep going. And if I wanted us to go, he wanted to stay halted. Uhh, work with me here, buddy.
But eventually we got it, and it took his mind of being a cow. Then we went back to canter work and voila- beautiful stuff.
In a way his attempts at naughties were concerning, but I kind of like it in a way- it is easier to ride. In general, it is much easier to ride a moving object than a still one. I can work with energy, regardless of the type.