When am doing my Feldie sessions I try to focus on the start of the movement. This goes as far back as just the thought of that movement as all movement comes from our brain. It is quite amazing what you can feel when you really focus.
It made me think about the work I do with horses. We can’t ask the horse to only think about a particular movement but we can try to guide the horse to make the movement slow and small. This will help them to start to think more on how they move.
We can also help them create that movement by for example lift the leg and slowly put it down again. Here we can make suggestions on where the leg can go.
As we are walking backwards in the Groundwork position it gives you a perfect opportunity to play with this as here you can see the whole horse. You can give suggestions through the aids and see straight away see how he creates that movement and if you might need to support him in a different way or not.
It becomes a little more tricky when you want to work in the trot or even more so the canter.
In one of my on-line lessons with Jossy Reynvoet last year we played with the canter for the first time in the Groundwork position. As you will see in the little video I need to practise cantering backward a bid more but again it is not about the canter but more so about the initial movement, the first step.
How can I help him to make that first canter step the best he can at that moment. Here you see I prepare him in the trot with a few steps Shoulder In, followed by a few steps Haunches In.
It is all far from perfect and I can honestly say that my focus was more on keeping myself up and not ripping over my own legs and to keep out of his way but he understood my aids and that is a good starting point. It starts with the dialogue now we can start focusing on the technical part.
The more body awareness you have yourself the more you can help your horse to find his own, and that is where the dance can start.
(video is poor quality as it is from a zoom recording).