Okay, it's been one trainer ride and one lesson, and already I feel like the decision to let her ride him for a month has paid off.
This was the text I got Friday night: "Had a really awesome ride on Connor today. Helped give me a lot of insight for lessons too. Should be able to make a lot of improvements in the canter especially. He was very receptive and I LOVE your saddle!!!"
|Sitting in that saddle is pretty life changing. Also, hello new-to-me breastplate.|
The day after, I had what was supposed to be a jump lesson, and I would still say it ended up being a jump lesson in that we did things that are going to improve his canter which will improve our jumping, but it was a flat jumping lesson.
She said she realized a couple of things from riding him that make what she sees me do in lessons make more sense. First, especially to the right, he does this move where he pulls the right side of his back away from my seat and tosses me to the left. She had me think about really sitting down hard on the right and keeping my seat in contact with him. It honestly felt like I was sliding off of him to the right, and that my left thigh was over the pommel, but she swore I was straight. It made such a huge difference, I can't even tell you. The whole way he went changed.
|Looking like an eventer these days|
Second, she said when he's cantering to the right, he's actually throwing his legs left and moving to the left laterally, and the whole motion of the canter is different than the left lead. It was one of those "Never noticed it before but now can't not notice it" things for me. It really does feel weird. She said correcting and strengthening that will make the biggest difference over fences, because she had also popped him over a couple of crossrails herself, and correcting that drift helped a lot.
To drive those points home, we spent a lot of time doing actual half pass and actual walk pirouettes. It was amazing how much body control I had. We also did walk-canter transitions out of the walk pirouettes, and they were lovely. Progress!
I can really feel things starting to turn around for both of us, these trainer rides are just what we need.