I have been riding regularily and still making great progress but just not writing about it. This week however I didn't get in as many rides as I wanted to. I took Monday off as usual and then had a bad headache on Tuesday and decided that it wouldn't be too big of deal to take that evening off. Then, of course, we were getting some rain/snow on Wednesday so after driving a couple of miles I turned around when it started snowing more heavily. I rode Thursday in Drill Team (more on that later) and Friday but then wasn't able to again on Saturday due to the clinic taking place in the indoor and the rain outside.
Today at my lesson, however, Katai was brilliant! We've been able to start off almost immediately in a good place recently and although she was a little anxious since the other door on the arena was open she was listening and moving well. We started off with a bunch of changes of direction and L quickly diagnosed that she wasn't taking contact on the left rein. I realized pretty quickly once we started working that I've never had real contact on that left rein and it felt good to find another hole and start filling it in.
L had me start out by getting her on a 20 meter circle at the trot and getting a really good bend. Then she had me straighten her and finally move her into counterbend. We did this going in both directions and then worked on getting the correct bend going to the right and giving the contact forward and quickly taking it back on the right whenever she was leaning on the rein.Then we did the same to the left only now it was the outside rein that I was now giving forward and taking back. It wasn't that I didn't allow her any contact, I just was gently asking her to carry herself rather than just leaning on that rein. Once she had lifted more through the shoulders and wasn't just pulling L had me keep the contact steady on the right as long as she had equal contact on the left rein.
It was amazing how much of a difference this made! It was amazing to me how I've been limping along with her never taking real contact on that side and how after my ride today so many things were easier. Now to just get it consistant!
We did a quickly canter depart in each direction and L started to work with me on how to cue properly when we ran out of time and the clinic was ready to begin. I will do a clinic recap as a separate post soon!