Asking and getting more forward energy, stretch and motion
*chants I love my Arab...I love my Arab...*
The Arab has now decided to suck back as an evasion. He sucks back when he wants to avoid my aids so be can gawk at something or because he wants to spook etc. When he does this, it gets hard to keep his energy moving forward since he sucks back and up comes the head. I don't want him to escalate this into his head coming at my face. On a good note, its like a little alarm as to when the big dash-spook is coming.
What happens is something like this : we're going along the trail or arena, light but steady contact, poll is the highest point, back lifted a bit. An invisible-to-me gnome enters his line of sight and he wants to gawk at it. Back drops, chest lifts, neck and head come up, muzzle raises up and sometimes cocks to one side. Horse gets off balance and starts rushing with stabby choppy strides. I've tried circling and changing direction but he is easily frazzled as some hot horses are. He kind of ends up going with just legs everywhere and trips over himself because he can't get out of his own way since at that point he is unbalanced and is trying to use speed to compensate.. He will maintain the sucked back position for some time and it gets hard to send him forward - I get more energy but it stays balled up and choppy.
Any suggestions on how to better ask for forward energy/movement and how to best re-engage contact? My hands are soft, so I know I'm not yanking him back causing him to react that way. I try to keep my hands in the same position when his head comes up and back but then he ends up just flailing about and rushing. I try to make him work with direction changes and such to bring his brain back to me because I think that is part of the overall issue but its very ungraceful so I am assuming I'm not doing something right or perhaps not in the best way for him.
He's not in pain. Worked regularly. No change in feed, no change in tack. All the basics are covered - this is a training issue. Groundwork is stellar - his full attention is on me when in hand. Need to translate that more to under saddle.
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