How light is too light

So…to me Ollie feels great working higher, more adjustability, shoulders and haunches more flexible or at my service. My question is, he is very light in bridle but seems to be doing what I ask. Should I be concerned he is not taking enough contact or not pushing into my hands? At times I feel him more but then when I bump him up off the bottom of my rein he really lightens…I think this is good. Kathy, IL

BILL– Not an easy question because it’s all a matter of degree. What you’re producing has to look right and feel right. He doesn’t have to be literally very heavy as long as the half halts are going through and you’re able to be affecting his balance, i.e.: beginning to produce some collection. Remember that the lightness you want isn’t just in your hand, it is of his forehand as well.

You need to determine that he’s not just “posing” but still thinking into the contact, directing his energy there even if not creating much physical weight. One good measure is if he is able to follow the bit out and down both on the stretching circle in the trot and in the free walk. That tendency must stay alive in his mind even when he’s up and gathered.

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