I had a great lesson today and since I never did a lesson recap for last week I'll talk about both lessons in one. For the last couple of lessons we haven't been introducing anything new, just firming up what we have. Last week this was trotting and cantering 20 meter circles, staying straight, working on canter departs and doing some spirals in and out. This week we mixed things up a bit by riding in the outdoor arena which gave us the opportunity to work on a couple of pony behaviors that we avoid in the indoor arena.
Katai was diving for the gate out of the arena since thats the way her friend left. This meant lots of working on outside leg aids for me as well as working on appropriate timing. L wants me to start to be more proactive and we talked about how when I start to get proactive I also start to get aggressive and let Katai pick fights. If course that's not good and something I need to work on so that's my homework for this week.
At one point we had this really nice, forward trot and she said it was almost a lengthening! It felt really good and Katai's balance is getting to the point where I can influence her in various different frames. I'm able to stretch her forward without her just taking off, although today in the outdoor that was way tougher!
L had also been to the Jennifer Truett clinic and so some of what we worked on in my lesson were things that Jennifer talked about at the clinic. We also, in keeping with the theme of it being me that needs more work at this point then Katai, worked on my elbows and keeping my hands more stable in the trot so that Katai can feel good about stretching forward into the contact. It made a huge difference! I had seen some of the floppiness in the video I posted but wasn't quite sure what I needed to change to fix it. When L said I needed to fix my elbows to my sides that did it :-)
I'm really quite proud of how we're looking as a team and how much more stable my position is! Photo evidence below :-)
Thanks to P who just recently moved to my new barn and who I boarded with at J's barn for the photos