Today I worked transitions mostly. Halt-Walk, Halt-Trot, W-T, speed rating at the trot, W-C, T-C, and then Walk-Halt, TW, CW... Going upward we're doing well, and my posting has come leaps and bounds better... or his trot has improved dramatically, or both. Today was the first ride other than a trail ride in over a month, so I wasn't expecting magic, but there are some weaknesses I found that I'd like to work on.
One I think might be part me, part him- and that is downward transitions from a canter. I would like to go from a canter to a walk without dozen trot strides in between, but I'm not sure how to get there. He'll drop to a trot the minute I ask for him to slow, but he keeps trotting for several strides, and then is like, 'oh, what? Slow down MORE? To a walk? Okay.' It's not as though he is resisting per se, in that he's not trying to take off again or anything, and is slowing his trot (rating) the whole time he's trotting, I just don't know that he's ever been taught that C to W is an option I can request instead, and I'm not sure how to teach him, or really, how I would even ask a trained horse for that. I've been assuming it was just the intensity of the stop request/cues that would indicate going all the way down to a walk as opposed to a trot.
The second issue I know is ALL me (and may well be contributing to the first). HOW do I position myself properly to stay balanced halting from a trot? My horse is very good at halting from a trot. I even think 'whoa' and he'll do it for me. I wind up too far forward and feel like I'm going to come off over his neck one of these times. Tips, tricks, etc? I used to be very bad with regard to leaning forward while posting, and now I'm just a little bad at that which I know has to be the root of the issue. Other than reminding myself to lean back further, anyone have any good suggestions?
I didn't dare try canter to stop, because A) he's out of some good reining and cutting lines and has the skillz and b) he WILL do it if I ask, as I have asked for a whoa a couple times when I got off balance at a canter, and was lucky NOT to come off over his head those times when he complied! :)