When I first bought my paint he was hot, unrefined, and out of shape. We have worked a TON with just the basic stuff. Walk. Trot. Canter. Circles. Stop. Easy... and so on.
So now that he's been in training, and is so much more fit, he really is a joy to ride both on the flat and over fences.
However, here's my problem:
He's kinda' got my number when I try to get him to move off my leg. I ask him to collect and extend his trot a little bit, but he tends to just poke his nose out and continue to plod along unchanged. I will pony kick him with my legs and I will get a momentary reaction, but he seems pretty unimpressed by actual "kicking".
His canter is really nice and adjustable. I can get him to collect and keep a nice hunter canter, or I can get him to give me a little more and hand gallop along the long side of the arena, and come back quiet on the short side.
Truth is, I tired using a crop once with this whole trotting issue. I didn't even touch him with it. NOT ONCE! But he was so worried, and so upset by the fact that I was even carrying it, that he was all strung out and a worried mess the whole time we hacked! So no more of that.
What is something I can try to get him to move off my leg more without the aid of spurs, crops, or dressage whips (omg he would have a melt down!). I would effectively like to whisper my aids... not scream them at him.
Just not entirely sure how to do that!