Today was Cinny's first ride after being locked up for 16 days with an injury. At first I was just going to do a real easy and relaxing ride BUT he had other ideas...it was aerial dressage. So I said fine "today you will work then." I lunged with side reins until he relaxed and started using his back, tail slightly lifted, easy gait and got back on.
Well, this seemed to really put him into "work" mode. I guess he missed it. I've been taking lessons on an older, harder to keep moving lesson horse and it has done a LOT of good. Today we accomplished something that we have been struggling with all year. Using his back and hind end engagement. At least... I think we did????
I was working on lengthening my legs as I have been learning in lessons and using them to encourage lifting his stomach....what my trainer calls it anyway. I lengthened my spine, loosened my pelvis, sat deep and really really concentrated on his rhythem, hugging his belly with my legs and giving him very light alternating squeezes with alternating legs depending on his foot falls...as I have learned.
Well...Cinny's belly began to REALLY swing left and right almost like I was sitting sideways on a swing and I swear his butt lifted about a foot into the air. His head was into the bridle with the most wonderful quiet contact...his whole chin lip making a loud flopping noise and his ears swinging with the movement. We did this for 3 times around the arena at a sitting trot and it felt amazing. So I stopped to end on a perfect note.
Does it sound like I had him finally using his back and engaging his rear end? I think what I felt is what I have been told it is supposed to feel like.