I just came in from a ride, and I have to write this down before I forget.
- If I want to do a canter / walk transition - don't just prepare with a half halt and then give the aid as his canter stride is high in front. Be patient and decide beforehand where I'll do it, then for at least five or six strides give myself over entirely to feeling his rhythm. Once I'm completely 'into' his rhythm, give the walk aid. He invariably walks, usually in a nice forward, uphill way, but occasionally he almost wants to halt which I don't want at this stage. Interestingly, as soon as I go into the 'feel' mode he starts to prepare himself with slight collection and a high degree of responsiveness to my aids, even though in monitoring myself I couldn't ascertain that I was doing anything. As I think about it now, I know that what I was 'doing' was completely relaxing and following, 'lisening' intensely but softly to him. This is the part I really want to remember - wouldn't it be great if I could develop that connection more and more?