Last night he tolerated me flinging myself at his (very tall) back after I had to get off to close the gate. Needing to dismount wasn't actually our failure at closing the gate. The gate is set up with large stone columns offset to the outside, so I physically couldn't reach the latch from his back. Only place to get back on was from the 4 board fence. Ungraceful spider monkey moment later and we were off. He didn't quite stand for my clambering, but who could blame him. We need to address that with a saddle as well. I've been ignoring the walking off as I mount, but I need to make the time it's one of my least favorite bad habits.
Back to our ride last night... Bareback with a large spine really helped me feel where straight was. We free walked to the turn around point. Passively straight, hips equal weight, teeter totter back and forth to find right balance front to back. Weight the thighs equally to save his back and myself.
After the turn around we walked back with connection. Without the saddle it was so clear the second he lifted and gave me his back. Also so clear that I want to shift my weight left. Right seat bone almost on midline sometimes. This then helps/causes my grabbing with the right rein. I was running through body parts fixing them one at a time then starting over. Seat bones? Shift right to move back to center. Core? Right abs are stronger (noticed this during a workouts, remains true on the horse) I think I'm twisting somewhere in my core due to this. I addressed the shoulders above and the seat below, but I need help figuring out the middle part. Which is probably at the root of it all. Shoulders? Right wants to slip forward with elbow back. Rotate right shoulder straight, check sternum on withers. Move back to seat bones then down to legs. Left leg wants to just ride forward and do nothing. Engage both thighs and then calves softly. Back to seat bones then up again. Toss in head, make sure it is softly lifted, straight. Eyes glance down, is poor horse straight in head/neck through all the shenanigans above?
I think I am addressing symptoms not the root. But I hope I am at least feeling a bit more equal to him. He's a very even horse side to side and I don't want to change that.
True to form, he barely missed kicking my hand when we worked, briefly, on our latest project of touching near his sheath area after our ride. Got one good cooperative reaction to hand resting on his belly after that and then quit. Picking my battles.