Originally Posted by Jore
Okay, so lately in our rides, Indie has become less sensitive to my leg. She started out being overly sensitive and up until a week ago, she was going really well with lateral movements and going forward into transitions. This past week, she's been more stubborn although usually after the first initial trot transition, she goes ahead no problem. So maybe it's stiffness?
But also, when doing a sidepass, she's a bit more slow to react. I'm wondering if maybe the colder weather is making her a bit more stiff? Or if she's just being plain stubborn. The lateral wouldn't surprise me, although she isn't nearly as stubborn as when I first brought her home.
I do agree that it may be both stiffness in the colder weather, and stubbornness to not want to be working in it!
Remember, you two are both athletes together. I enforce stretching your legs before each ride. Do some squats, grapevines, jumping jacks. Simple stuff. Don't be embarrassed! Before you get on your horse, calmly and safely pick up each leg, one at a time, and flex it in comfortable positions.
I've always started with taking a hold my mares front leg, bending it inwards, wiggling her joints easily, then hold the leg in a 90 degree angle, as a trotting saddlebreds knee would look, HOLD under the top of the leg, and close to the coronet. GENTLY, gradually stretch the leg straight. OUCHHHHH, this is like humans holding our legs straight out! Massage her leg until you feel the muscles relax, and essentially the horse should relax their leg completely that you can just hold their toe of their hoof!
Try this before your next few rides, see if it helps her leg action.
Also give a tap with your hand behind your leg WHEN you ask WITH your leg for a more forward transition. Just a little "woo-hoo wake up tap" :p
**If the problem exceeds, consider properly using a riding crop, or just incorporate more patterns while riding. Get your mare working and have her respect you by carrying you forward.