I had a lesson today with Jutta. I was hoping we could move on to some good stuff because he's been pretty good lately (since the snow came off the arena roof and things quieted down in there). He warmed up well and then she had me work on his walk to the right a little with a little haunches in on the circle. Then out of the blue (to Tom!) she said, "Ok, now canter." I just looked at her and explained that he was about as far from cantering as he could get. He does this thing where he puffs his sides out at me and feels like a brick wall against me. I can do just about anything I want up there with my seat, thighs, legs, etc and NOTHING will happen. If I add voice and/or whip when he's in this state, I can almost guarantee that he'll shut down. Stop dead. Curl up and threaten to rear. So I tried to ask for that canter and she kept telling me to get him on my left rein. Put my right leg forward. Play with the right rein. And he continued to get crankier and crankier. I asked her if she'd like to get on him, and she said, "sure!" Well, he was cranky alright. Kicked out, bucked (never reared) and generally said "NO!". She did, however, manage to get him forward and eventually he cantered. Here's a little clip:
I got back on and he was getting tired by then. She got me to figure out that I need to play on the right rein and actually almost think counter flexion to the left to get him on that left rein a little. When I had him there, I could get the right canter then gradually ask for right bend. Yikes! My head hurts.
Still waiting on that hay and feed analysis. I'll keep this posted!