I've had two lessons since I last wrote - Thursday, which was a Dressage lesson, and Sunday, which was "we'll jump when he's ready" and he came out firing, so the whole thing was a jump lesson.
Thursday, I finally solidly figured out my shoulder in aids. I know that sounds weird since I've been doing so much of it, but I finally figured out how much bend we need and how much inside thigh is takes to get that much bend. That also meant that I was able to "just put him in position" in the shoulder in and leave him alone, which you'll remember she's been asking me to do more and more.
|I AM SO GOOD AT DRESSAGE GIVE ME MRS. PASTURES COOKIES PLZ.|
In fact, the shoulder in was so good, she wanted to revisit half pass at the walk, which we started last summer and haven't done a lot of since. It's really hard, since neither one of us have ever done it before, so I have no sense of feel for what it should be, but with my trainer saying "Yes that's it" or "No that's not it", I'm developing an understanding of how to get the "Yes"'s.
On Sunday at the makeup lesson, I didn't get to warm up on my own - thanks, traffic, for making me late. I started out with a lap of walk in shoulder fore, then she told me to get trotting right away - and to both of our surprise, it was really good. None of that 'flat tire' feeling, just straight, through, and stretchy.
Then the canter - even better. "This is the best canter he's ever given you!" The best part was, I wasn't even trying. I was up in a half seat with light contact, and he was round, stepping under himself, and felt like a powerfully coiled spring. Yes, in warmup.
She took that as an indication that we should jump, and we did. Much of the lesson was spent combining our favorite (as of late) canter exercise, which is shoulder in with as much angle as he can give us without losing the bend, to canter, and then come off the rail to pop a crossrail in the middle of the ring.
It. Was. Awesome. We did that, we did a skinny, and we even jumped the inflatable liverpool for the first time. I expected it to ride like a ditch, and while he gave us a big effort the first time, he didn't scare himself doing it. "We're jumping him so much right now because his canter is good, and he's learning that jumping can feel good. He's gaining confidence in the ring that will translate over things like ditches when we get out in the field in the spring."
Seriously, that canter. I was like "Why can't we get this all the time?! How many carrots will it take to bribe you into being this awesome?"
|Several. The answer is several.|