I tried to use this technique in my warm up today and it really
doesn't work for us
I actually knew that it wouldn't but I thought I give it another go just to make sure. The New Welsh is one lazy pony and ralaxation is not really an issue for him. So, I did the no pushing just trotting along, big lines, 20m circles, serpentines... and his tempo got worse. The only good thing it did was physically warming him up. Everything else: disaster!
He just stomps along, relaxed, tail dangling, neck down and out, getting more front heavy and less forward by the minute.
To be honest, this "pony trot" is basically the opposite of what I usually need to do get him going. He needs a long warm up. I usually start with 15-20 minutes of walk on a long rein sometimes longer. Then it depends, sometimes do a bit of trot and canter on a long rein as well, but I need to make sure he moves
. This is just to get him physically warmed up.
Our real work is basically everything I know on how to get a horse off the forehand. Baby school halt, shoulder in, haunches in, counter shoulder in, renvers. All just for a few steps, always making sure I move just his shoulders to align to the haunches for each new movement. Change, change, change, transition, transitions, transitions. Everything to get him up, foreward and alert. Getting those heavy, drafty shoulders up and out of the way to make room for his hind legs to step under.
The "school trot" however is very useful for us. It's more of a baby school trot. In the past, he wasn't strong enough to keep up with lateral work at the trot. He either blasted through the shoulders or droped into a walk. Now he trots, slowly, but he keeps going. I was worried about the slow pace at first, but my trainer thinks, that as long as they are carrying (using their hind end, stepping under) it's ok. For now.