This question falls somewhere between L2 & L3 contact so Im putting it here..
Ive just spent a great weekend with Mel working on our Contact Module with Clancy and made a few little discoveries and has left me with a question. (Yes we already have our Blue tick for this assignment.. )
In contact how much feel do I really need on the reins? We had a play with our cherokee rein positions and Clancy was giving me lovely tries with just my seat. I had the string in my hand but it did have some slack in my asks, when I picked up the feel - even just baby chicken feel it was too much and he just took that as an open invitation to lean. So we were back to saying no, don't lean and having a discussion I didn't want to get into.
Picking up feel with the reins is the same, it's nothing and then 400kg's of horse! And thats riding him with the same feel as Rors, so Im not totally inept when it comes to feel (thank you to Meredith for improving this over my last 12 months!)
Over summer Ive been working really hard at having the mindset of riding the light horse from the get go so I don't get into these conversations, but do I need to at some stage have more contact?.. can I expect his to give me soft feel and pick up through the back without any tension (not really the word Im after) in the rein, so having a bit of a loop in the reins and using my seat even more?
He dives on his front at any given opportunity, but when he's not doing that he is awesome.
I'm trying not to get too overly focussed on this as we are working on his fitness for the gallop and a couple of blue ticks and we'll be done with the L2 modules, but 'd like to keep improving so our L3 modules come together nicely, and of course the more forward we have the easier this will be!