This morning Curtis remembered all the things. He needed very little reminder about my left leg being there and stretched and moved off my leg so much better today. I didn't even ride yesterday! When we trotted he's stretch and move around my leg every few strides for a stride or 2. It's little and I feel like we should be so much further along but I'll take what I can get a build on it from there.
When I asked him to canter he wants to just trot really super fast. So I brought him back to a slower paced, more even trot and asked again. He picks up his right lead better than his left. I had to really stay on him to keep him cantering because he is fat and lazy.
When I asked him to come back to a trot, he comes right back down. I half halted and slowed my post and got him to come right back to a slower-tempo and stretch through his back down into the bit and remember my leg was there and to not cut corners.
I've found what is working best for him, and I hope it doesn't mess us up in the long run, is to keep my reins a bit loose. When I circle I take the outside rein and hold it above the billett strap on my saddle pad and take the inside rein and open it as a guiding rein toward my inside knee and slightly turn my hips and shoulders, like riding a bike all while pushing him over with my inside leg. I try to be very quiet with my hands and hold them steady and let my body be the half halts as I post. When he isn't getting it, I just quietly open and close my fingers.
I've also spent more time at the walk at the beginning of a ride that I have been. I leg yield and do 10 meter circles and figure-8s to get him soft. Today was 100x better than 2 days ago.
And then I rode Twister who I just get on and put through his paces like nothing. Then my trainer (SJ lol) told me I needed to go jump the logs by the garage. And then Twister became Mr Chip. The 3rd time we came around to it, I gave him a kick and a kiss and got him to take off at a decent distance. When did Mr OverJump and Scope turn into the horse who is on top of the damn jump before he takes off?!
Also no one has shoes on. Tomorrow I need to try the Easyboot Gloves under bell boots to see if they stay on Twister for next weekend. And Curtis doesn't do so well on the damp morning grass, but he doesn't feel sore anymore. I still have to trim his hinds. I think I can do it maybe 1 at a time while he munches hay or oats. As bribery to not kick me.........