We have a new "problem." Now he's so relaxed that he's lost any desire to go forward. He's reaching ... a lot at the walk, and he's pretty loose, but he's not driving forward from behind. I feel as if I were to quit urging, we'd fall into a pokey little amble. I've tried a few things over the past few weeks to get him going. I ask for forward, and then I quit asking. If he doesn't give me something, I squeeze very firmly until he picks up the pace. Repeat. The problem is that after halfway around the circle, he's back to the pokey, nearly walking, pace. As I am posting, I am thinking forward, forward, forward and I add energy to my posting.
I've also tried lots of changes of direction to wake him up. We'll track left for a circle or two and them swing right for a circle or two, but nothing's really working.
If you didn't know how explosive he can be when anxious, you'd tell me to get the whip and thwack, thwack, thwack to wake him up. I am just not quite sure I want to go that route since I just got him to relax. I also don't want to use spurs since I am afraid that if he does bolt or rear, I might inadvertently goose him when and if I have to grip to stay on.
We're definitely in a Goldilocks situation here: I don't want him racing around out of control and too fast, and I don't want him poking around so slow. I want him to trot out just right! So, how do I get him driving forward in a relaxed way?