I have been riding a lesson horse, MJ, for many months. I made progress with his responsiveness to my leg and hand aids, but I absolutely refused to sit his bone-jarring slow trot (and MJ is a QH.)
So I hit my equitation and training books and determined that the best thing I could do to get progress in my 30 minutes lessons/rides would be for me to get up in 2-point for the first 5 minutes of my ride. No sweat right? After all decades ago I could do almost an hour up in two-point if needed.
I started doing this a little more than a week ago. I must admit that I could not make it the full 5 minutes unless we stopped and I rested, then got back up into 2-point for the rest of the 5 minutes. By the second ride MJ started showing some progress, transitioning to the walk from the trot I usually sit the last few steps and for the first time those steps did not feel like I was riding a jackhammer.
Then my last ride on him he transitioned from the trot to the walk immediately instead of his usual shuffle down to a walk over a minute or so. Not only was it immediate, he kept his mouth soft and responsive, his back felt looser than before, and MJ did not get upset at all with me.
And I am utterly exhausted. I am still exhausted from my ride on Friday. My femurs and humeri feel exhausted down to the center of the bones. I can understand my femurs but I have no idea why my humeri feel exhausted since I was keeping a light, stable contact with his mouth or he went on a sagging rein. I did not need to use my arms to keep up in two-point.
I am posting this for people who have auto-immune diseases or anything else that causes exhaustion. Just because we could do something easily decades ago is no guarantee that we will be able to still do the same now.
And the really funny thing about this is that my thigh and butt muscles did not get sore at all. Just the deep, unrelenting feeling of great tiredness.