So, due to lack of opportunity to take lessons, I decided to teach myself English riding. I've been riding Western for 9 years, and I felt like I needed a challenge.
I'm borrowing an English saddle and girth, and found that the only horse the girth fits right now (that isn't super green) is this brat (She has a little fanclub here....):
It's been a few months since I've started riding her English, and it's been a fight the whole time. She had no respect for a snaffle bit. So after much frustration at trying to learn while trying to teach, we finally are starting to agree!!!!!!!!
It was one of those rides that you don't ever want to end... everything clicked.
Previous to this, she had done a lot of head tossing, charging and running through my hands, ignoring the bit.
When I first got her into a trot, it popped into my head: half halts and transitions, lots and lots of transitions. As well as slowing my posting to the tempo I wanted her to be at (a recommendation from several people here! Thanks!)
It took 10 minutes of w/t and t/w transitions and half halts and she had accepted the contact and kept her headset level, even rounded at times.
And then it was time to lope/canter. This was where we had the most problems. So, I went from walk, slow trot, faster trot, slow trot, and then asked for the canter. Her head shot up and she charged into my hands. I just closed my fingers and said, "Eeeeeaasy" and she settled into a nice canter with a nice headset, not level, but not in my face. And so, after a lap and a half around my riding area, I brought her back down through a fast trot, (trying to get away from that one....) into a relaxed trot, (slowing my posting!!!!) and then a walk.
EEEEEEEEK! I'm just so happy!!!! I may not be a perfect rider, but at least I don't have to fight a horse while trying to teach myself.
Kudos to anyone who actually read that.