I haven't posted in a while. Eli had a period of being very stiff and uncomfortable. I had two good rides and then the third day the horses were turned out after being in for a couple days. Eli was very different that day. He was stiff and giraffe like. I tried to work him through it to no avail. I put two different riders on him to see what would happen. They didn't have much more success than I did. Other than they didn't fight him quite so much. When it's your horse, it's awfully hard not to fight. I ended up giving him a week off.
This past Monday I went to the other barn for a lesson. I had my trainer get on him first after explaining what was going on. He agreed he was very stiff. He was able to work Eli through it with limited resistance from Eli. I had a good ride after that. Eli is so much more responsive to my legs and I can ride him with less work. That helps with our canter issues. Eli was resistant to bending, but in a way I was over bending him. This caused him to fall out on his outside shoulder. That caused him to raise his head and be a giraffe to balance. My trainer had me *think* of renvers on a circle but with true bend. What did that do? It caused me to limit the bend and keep the outside shoulder. This worked really really well. We did some walk pirouettes before doing some canter work. In the canter I was to think about the pirouette. This resulted in a half halt from the outside rein, keeping the outside rein short and increasing the bend in his hind legs. Basically a well ridden half halt! The good thing was since my trainer warmed him up, he was so responsive to my leg that we didn't break at all. I had quite a bit of horse behind me. I know that sounds backwards. You always want the horse in front of your leg, but you need an engine behind you. During this ride I had quite a bit of push from his hind legs and they were active and he was coming through. So I'm trying to ride with this feeling in mind. The short outside rein, the outside shoulder trapped from going too far out and some horse behind me! :)
Wednesday I had the chiro come for Eli. He was really locked in his neck in several places and had some shoulder issues. He had Thursday off and today he was much happier under saddle. I really think he did something in turnout the day all these issues started. There was such a dramatic difference in him from the previous day that I just don't know what else could have happened.
Tomorrow I go to my trainer's barn for a lesson. We usually have really good lessons when we go there. I hope tomorrow is no exception! :) Here's to a safe trip. . .