Mystic and I had a great lesson tonight. It was way over due and I could tell areas that I havent worked on as much. March was consumed with the expo so we missed all of March and it showed! We came back fatter and less practiced then ideal but got some great clarity to some issues, and will definitely not be skipping a month of lessons again any time soon (knock on wood!)!
A quick recap:
1- Keep hips and shoulders to the inside! Without even thinking about it I twist to the outside (especially tracking right) and it is NOT a good habit! She was constantly reminding me to turn inside and when you think 'I feel like I am completely sideways' you hear 'Even more!'. It is totally awkward and hard to do but essential, especially at this point (where we cant fake our way through a test).
2- Slow.Him.Down. I have him way to strung out when I have been working on our simple changes and have been struggling. Tonight I really had to half halt (hard!) and get him sitting on his bottom in order to get it. He anticipates the change in gait but tries to break right when I put my leg on on really collect him before the walk. I have to be really strong with my right rein as he like to throw his body to the outside which in turn gets him off his hind end.
3- I hold him to much with my left rein sometimes still. It has been an ongoing battle with me (and has gotten better!) but it came out more when we were working on counter canter. Instead of riding him outside leg to inside rein (mainly tracking right) I try to keep the bend using my outside rein which is obviously counter productive! Overall we actually got some really nice counter canter work! It was our first time going around the arena in the counter canter instead of doing a shallow loop or serpentine. We started on the correct lead and then did half a 10 meter circle then headed back to the wall (like an ice cream cone shape) in the counter canter.
4- I just need to seriously ride him and be more focused in our dressage schools. It was seriously hard at some points but in the end it would work. I am going to feel it tomorrow thats for sure!