When I tried Red out a million years ago before I discovered Catherine and Common Sense Horsemanship, his only reaction to leg pressure was at best mild alarm and at worst MULE PANIC MODE ENGAGED.
Now, as you can see, he is much more confident with leg aids.
Through the turns I use an outside urging leg and at the trot Red often gives me a little more speed because the urging leg asks for more energy, but more energy isn’t the same as a meltdown and it took me a few lessons to relax and understand what Red was giving me through his turns at the trot. I limit my rein aids to an inside leading rein only, so Red has absolutely no reason to misinterpret my signals and get confused. Through any given turn he is being urged through the outside and led from the inside and I’m completely off of his back to give him all the freedom he needs to use his longitudinal back muscles in the turn. I always make a point to look in the direction of my turns even when I’m in forward balance position because even though Red cannot feel my seat bones he can still feel the subtle lightening in my inside stirrup that occurs when I look in the turning direction.
More updates later!