I adore my trainer. We are making so much progress and I'm enjoying every lesson. She has been so good at helping my identify what I need to work on and making me feel enabled to make those changes.
On Sunday we started out with L having me pick up contact at the walk and keep Katai's speed the same. At first she used to throw her head in the air, get hollow and freak out but it's slowly become better and now she just tries to rush and eventually work her way into a trot. As I was working on this the first time L actually said "She's too good of pony to let her get away with this." It was such an amazing thing to hear about my pony especially after the way that J treated both of us. It was so encouraging to hear that she has some talent after all and that it's not just me that believes in her completely.
That walk work set the trend for the lesson and that was that we were going to get speed and rhythm above all else, then bend through her body, and finally good contact. L pointed out that sometimes I settle for pleasant and don't push for great work. I agree completely but it was good to have that pointed out to me because I didn't even realize until she said that.
The other thing that we both identified is that at times I just sort of give up and try to hand off control to Katai. Except she has no idea what we're doing. Sort of like the person leading the dance just throwing their hands in the air and telling their less experienced partner good luck. Anytime I do this, of course, Katai has no idea what to do so we really falter and L pointed out a few times I do this consistently such as changes of direction.
By about 5-10 minutes in we were getting really good work. I'm still getting used to/enjoying it not taking the whole lesson, and I was really figuring out how to get a consistent speed. Funny how when my coach says I'm going to do something I can do it but on my own I just sort of coast along thinking man wouldn't that be nice. That same sort of thought during the lesson led to me saying I was going to make a WWLD bracelet and then she said it should be WWLS for What Would L Say.
I really think I need one :)
We were getting a nice enough and consistent enough trot for us to be able to work on canter and that went well as well but we've got some new evasions. It sounds like L is probably planning on riding her at my next lesson so I'm hoping that she'll have some canter specific feedback for me. I can't wait!