Adjusting to fit the situation
I have had a great „ Aha“ moment when it comes to adjusting to fit the situation.
George and I have been playing with Piaffe for the past months. When we were exploring the beginnings of Piaffe I was at the front, so I had a little more control and could support him, as well as feel if he was leaning on me, thinking too much forward etc. I was looking for lightness in the halter, so that I was only there to support rather than holding him in place.
He has been getting lighter and lighter and is understanding the cues.
I thought it might be time to have a look at some Piaffe at liberty, too keep things interesting and to see if he really understands what I mean and look for. If he didn’t he would just start walking faster etc. because I wouldn’t be able to help him with the halter. If he understands the cue he will stay collected, lift him self and Piaffe.
So I started of by being by the head. It felt a little awkward for some reason and I didn’t feel I was in the right place, it felt I was blocking him.
So I thought what if I go on the other end e.g. behind his tail.
I stood behind him, started breathing in, brought my energy up, got lighter on my feet, started clucking and had the stick above him (not touching). I was imagining that my stick was drawing him up.
He collected himself, his poll and withers came up and so he started to Piaffe.
One thing I noticed was that he was a little heavy with his feet (I am not expecting perfection, but just noticed). I became aware that when I was doing the Piaffe steps I was high but had no lightness. So experimented, I started to pretend I was doing it on my tip toes. His Piaffe steps changed immediately.
Below you find a drawing (no picture unfortunately), of my mental picture of drawing up the poll and withers with my stick.