I had my lesson on Saturday this week since I was riding in the clinic on Monday and we wanted to be sure to give Katai a day off in between. I got to the barn nice and early and it was gorgeous out. I was hoping to ride outside but there was thick, heavy smoke in the air from the Canadian wildfires so we decided to ride inside where they had the fans going and the air was a little clearer.
Katai has been on a roll recently and the lesson started off really well. She's starting to get the idea of walking nicely on the bit and using it as a breather rather than just always wanting to go as quickly as she can. We were focusing on getting the correct bend and again, doing movements from training level tests, just not in the order of training level tests.
One of my biggest take-aways was that I really need to have my reins shorter. I've been leaving them longer but then I end up with my elbows back too far when I need to shorten. As soon as I shortened them and put my arms further forward Katai relaxed and was more steady on the contact. I also tend to flatten my left hand so we worked on that.
The other big thing that I learned was to start preparing for the bend earlier. We were working on doing the 20 meter circle at B and I was on the turning struggle bus. It either took me half way around the circle to get the proper bend or I was doing too much with the reins. L told me to focus on getting her in shoulder fore before the 20 meter circle and it clicked.
Finally we did some transitions into canter and at the first one L said, "your body is so much better than it was!". It made me happy because I've been working really hard on getting my hip bones more even.
I'll have a recap of the clinic up soon!