It's been hard to write about handwalking. Because that's pretty much all I've been doing. About a month ago we had a vet check and got clearance to add in 5 min and then 10 min of trotting, so that's been nice, though Gwyn definitely thought that if we were trotting, then we were allowed airs above ground, which is NOT conducive to healing.
We started with walking over some low poles at the walk in hand. Chriss' big rule is that the horse must not push on your space. So in the case of walking over the poles, straightness is key, but also impulsion in the hind end to keep her from swing her hips out and pushing in with her shoulder. As I'm walking I need to be mindful of where she's looking and preparing to correct the push, which gets more subtle the more we work, but I'm also getting better at feeling it the more we work.
It was harder to do going to the right, which made sense to me because that's usually where I struggle when riding to have her really filling my outside rein, she likes to collapse to the inside. The same was happening in hand. It took a lot of effort and work to get her thinking straight and maintain control of her hips and shoulder.
From there we moved on to long lining. Again the goal was using the long lines to encourage her to bend and really step under herself with her inside hind leg. I found feathering the inside 'rein' while using the outside line wiggle to encourage forward so her outside hind couldn't swing to the outside to have amazing results. There was a balancing act and I was starting to get a good feel of asking for the forward would require immediate reminder to ask her nose to poke in just the slightest. I need to keep shoulder fore in my head. We even worked at a trot and I'm pretty sure I got her working in the best trot ever. She was practically floating across the ground, working evenly and through her back and hind.
AHHH! This lesson really upped my game with the long lining and I'm excited again about our 'hand walking' because now it's things we can work on to keep both our brains engaged.
Vet recheck friday, fingers crossed we get approval to add more work back in.