When I was riding last time, I had a moment when I realized I was throwing my lope cue away leaving my horse to wonder: lope? more trot? oh, she's still poking me...must mean lope.
Of course those few trot steps before the lope are part of what keeps me from placing higher.
What I WAS doing is cueing...we'll say with my right foot/spur...and bracing out straight with my left foot. I can understand why: I had polio as a young child and have very little strength in my legs. I need to brace in order to have enough pressure on his sides. Or so I thought!
Today, I closed my left leg on him, cued with my right and he stepped right into the lope. It was hard at first but after a few times I was able to transfer some strength from my closed left leg to my right spur.
I'm happy. It seems that he is too.
How much easier it is for him when he knows clearly what I want. Poor guy...he's been so patient with me. I love him to the moon and back!
I know exactly what you mean. I always bear in mind that HE knows 'how to ride'...I'm the one who's screwing it up!
On other hand, his arthritis in his hocks got so bad without me noticing because I kept thinking it was me that was wrong. It never occured to me that he was having a hard time because HE was having a hard time.
Getting his hocks taken care of was a light bulb moment too!
Count me in! I'm a chronic leaner. My son's mare takes rushy trot steps into the lope, and when I started thinking about sitting back, and opening and lifting my inside hip bone while cuing with my outside leg, she picked up the lope like a butterfly lifting into the air. I'm sure my body position has LOTS to do with her lope departure, good and bad.
Absolutely, Flash. I thought I was sitting up until I went for a lesson and the instructor said sit up....more....more....more (REALLY/) ...more....THERE! I could have sworn I was leaning way backwards. BUT, the lesson learned was how it feels when I sit up. Finally I had something I could recognize!