|Harley's power trot!|
The optimum rein length also allows him to move freely forward and add more power to his trot. There is a positive feel in the reins, but his head placement is not static. He adjusts his head carriage to suit his energy level or way of going. I like to allow rather than prescribe this for the horse. When we have a working conversation down the rein I can feel the hindlegs in my hands and seat. This is an amazing feeling of energy, power, and delicacy all at the same time. Too much hand or seat will squash it, too little connection will leave him hanging with the energy spilling out every which way. We need just the right balance of leg and hand, a touch here, a release forward there, then a holding again. Like a kind yet firm handshake with a friend. Maybe you know what I mean?
Every moment of this ride is not perfect, but there are segments here and there where I really like the connection we are sharing. I believe that we have improved our ability to hold this conversation with more consistency since July. You may find that I am a little more forgiving with my arms and elbows than strict equitation dictates. However, my priority is to allow my horse to move with a long neck and stretch to the bit. He used to be and still can be very tight, so I like to err on the side of too loose. Since his confidence in the bridle and suppleness has improved, I have been able to keep my elbows for longer periods of time without feeling like I am blocking him.