My horse Grumpy is a pinto Appendix, and has always been a little resistant to stretching down in our warm-ups and in the stretchy circles in Training Level and Prix Caprilli. On a typical Saturday, I go to another barn that runs a therapeutic riding program to volunteer. However, this past Saturday my BM was having her birthday party in the afternoon, so I went for a lesson Saturday morning and I finally got the idea of stretching into Grumpy's thick skull, LOL.
We had a typical warm-up in the indoor arena, attempting to get him to stretch with little success. My trainer likes to mix it up a bit and had us move to the outdoor grass arena for the rest of the lesson. Once we got out there and picked up the trot again, Grumpy started using his hind end and reaching down towards contact on a loose rein.
I have been working with this horse for a year and a half. When I first rode him, he was green broke. He's now super-responsive to leg and seat aids, but this was my first time getting a true stretch out of him and I just wanted to share this personal victory with you all.
And I'm very glad that we achieved this, with the new TL1 having a stretchy circle :).