Ever have one of those rides where you are so connected with your horse, and you have the ring to yourself, that you are really able to work on your position and riding based on your horse's feedback? I had one of those today and it was great!
Rode my clyde-x duke first and he was much lighter and great on the flat, and good over fences, so i'll start working on him with some gymnastics to get him ready for foxhunting and perhaps a few hunter shows, which is cool. But he's so dead honest that as long as you ride effectively, he doesn't pay much mind to your position overall. So then I rode my jumper sky (OTTB).
Sky's over-opinionated, too smart for his own good, and incredibly sensitive. Riding him in the ring by myself this evening was awesome because I was able to realize a few position flaws that were brought on since knee surgery (i had major ACL reconstruction and cartilage repair in Feb with a recovery time of 8- 12 mos, but I was riding in 3 weeks, and until a few weeks ago was in a pretty big brace to ride in). The brace kept me from getting my leg on the horse properly, and because of the hinge, I found I was also perching and balancing more off my knee/thigh than my whole leg. I also have back issues (yeah i'm a mess) and was riding with a somewhat hollow back, and riding defensively because of all of these injuries (i had 2 weeks off - today was first ride back -due to pinched nerves in my neck & back causing serious issues).
Well I have to tell you it was AMAZING! I was able to just walk and trot and walk and walk and keep adjusting myself as sky gave me feedback on what I was doing right and what needed fixing. We spent about an hour and half working together, mostly walking at first, and eventually ended with my leg about 3" longer (at least it felt that way!), my seat significantly deeper, my shoulder and chest more up, my back flat, and my position back to it's good ol' trustworthy eventer position ;) my friend came to watch and said she was able to see the difference in both me and my horse.
So anyone else have similar issues? Either those really wonderful connected rides where you learn more from your horse than you have from anyone else trainer or otherwise in ages? Or recovering from an injury find that you had to redo/fix your position based on instinctual need to protect the injury?