I had a good lesson today with the Danimal. We started out quite lovely and got some brilliant trot work! We even got a decent shoulder in, but we had some troubles with our 10 meter circles. I'm not quite sure what I'm doing wrong but we're just not very smooth. But we managed to make it better. I think I need to remember to turn with my upper body and maintain the connection rather than turning him with the reins only.
Then we went to the canter. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't great. It sort of fell apart. I'm having issues geting the correct lead again. Sigh... I'm not sure why I'm doing or overdoing but I know it's my fault. And then we started having all sorts of issues. But it basically boiled down to my right leg. I got frustrated and rode up and told Cindy that I can't seem to make my leg hang down and not pinch with my knee WHILE keeping it at the girth. It feels like I'm at the girth and she keeps telling me I'm not. So... we talked and basically she said that Dan is stronger on the right and therefore he tends to throw his ribcage at me. But it's not just that, it's the whole biomechanics of it. He throws that ribcage out, which means he creates a bulge at my leg, tips to the inside, and his scapula can't bend and he can't bend right. So Cindy told me that while this has always been a bad body habit of mine, and it's going to take time for me to fix it. And it's going to be something that I'm ALWAYS EVERY SINGLE RIDE going to have to remind myself about. Because it's hard for me to sit correctly. So instead of getting frustrated, just get busy fixing it. And... she pointed out that the reason my body can't do what I want it to do, is partly because Dan isn't giving me a spot to put my leg. Therefore I need to create it. It's not him being lazy, anymore than it's me being lazy. BUT.... because he is stronger, he wants to bulge that way. So I have to realize my leg isn't where it should be and I'm not getting true right bend.. because of the bulge, and then create a proper right bend. I need to encourage Dan to lift the inside of his ribcage and compress that side and bend, and that creates the room for my right leg.
In order to create that spot, that bend, I may have to turn up the volume. But then I immediately ask with a quiet aid to say "That's what I meant to say"!. So... ask for right bend, ask for his rib cage to lift, and if my leg can't go in the "hole", then use my spur or stick AT THE GIRTH!! not back in his stifle.
And... once I get it, he actually held it for awhile, so.. he's not as weak as I thought. We got some LOVELY canter and trot then and our counter canter was a bit easier as were the transitions. So yay!
Now to just remember EACH AND EVERY RIDE!!!