For the past several weeks, Izzy has decided that he can't/won't walk at any point during our rides. It doesn't matter how tired he is, he simply refuses to walk. Instead, he jigs or even piaffes. Talk about First World Problems: Woe is me, my horse won't quit piaffing! Sometimes it's a bit of passage, albeit a flat passage.
Half halting was doing nothing. He just ran through my aids. Jerking his face off did nothing except wear me out. I realized that if I could get his shoulders moving around, I could probably break up the lock from his nose to withers.
Instead of fighting with the inside bend, which was just sending his shoulders further and further out, I asked for counter flexion. His neck was so locked up that he couldn't give it to me of course, so I laid into him with my outside spur and half halted HARD on the inside rein.
What do you know? All of a sudden, Izzy was sitting on his hind end just a bit which allowed him to free up his shoulders and turn. For a split second, he also let go of the bit.
I spent a solid 10 or 15 minutes doing counter flexion at the trot. Izzy finally started taking deep breaths and asked to walk. It was the first time he's been willing to walk in several weeks. Every time he tried to fall forward into a trot, I counter flexed him quickly and dug my spur in and insisted that he rock back on his hocks.
Right now, I don't care about throughness or a lifted back. Right now, I need him to start letting go of that bit so that he can listen to my aids. I think I am the right track. If nothing else, I finally found a way to unstick his throttle!