So I rode lucky today and heís been out of work for a few weeks b/c he cut his tongue. Of course his back has been his ongoing issue, but itís definitely getting better. Iím uploading video now for you to see, but in short hereís my observations and questions.
Overall I have him going on a long rein and I notice heís behind the bit a lot despite the fact that I literally had no pressure on the reins, so iím wondering if thatís anticipation/pain from his tongue. Itís healed but lucky is a very sensitive and anxious horse so I think that may be it?
That aside I also noticed that the more he stretched down and relaxed, heíd start to pick himself up better. He wasnít leaning on me but was ducking behind, until it seemed he stretched out and his back got looser (look later in the video).
At one point to the right heís wagging his head and im trying to correct with my hands which is WRONG! I know! I stopped and he stopped - the right is his worse direction and I needed to get him to move off my leg better - again later in the video he seemed to do that.
All in all iím happy that heís stretching through his back, relaxing (heís usually VERY anxious so we spent a lot of time just walking and settling) and starting to move forward and almost tracking up rather than his super-short hesitant trot. We still have a long ways to go though and iíd love some thoughts. My question is at what point do you think heíd be ready for a more traditional contact and start getting him to bring his head up? Just keep riding with more leg/less hand (i need more leg than I was using today and I need to make that a primary focus - more leg even though he feels forward, heís not truly engaged) and then as he gets stronger let him tell me? Iím not sure if I should try to get him to elevate his head as I add more leg or just let it come with time as he loosens and gains strength? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Vid in a minute, but still would love thoughts on what can help. :)