That's the secret, I need to smile more and stop taking myself so bloody seriously. I was discussing the extra energy his back was creating with a friend in the UK and through a chance line about how her horse made her smile I unlocked the problems that I've been causing Moo.
When I concentrate I lock up my jaw/neck/shoulders and this obviously creates tension lower down in my back and probably hips too. Whilst it isn't the cause of his extra energy and *beans* I certainly don't think it's helping him direct his energies to the right place. So this morning I smiled and relaxed my back as much as I could and he was much easier to 'get into' especially in the sitting trot. It was a good session though and he now listens to my leg rather than just rushing off it. This brings me to a point about the effet d'ensemble. After just two sessions of asking him to accept more and more leg into a closed hand he has become much more accepting of the leg aids. He doesn't rush away and fly through my hand but takes his balance more underneath him and lifts up into the rein. So for the moment the work is done, I won't use it any more for fear of getting him too much turned off to the leg (a problem it sounds as if Baucher had). I certainly feel that for an overly energetic horse this exercise works and it maybe that I have to fine tune it every so often but I won't use it before/after every exercise/change of direction as Baucher advocates....was he referring more to a half halt/rebalance?