Today I took Dan out to Ashland to do some dressage. We had a pretty good ride too. I was trying to fix our canter because the right lead has gotten atrocious despite the left lead being beautiful!
We warmed up and had some good work at the trot. And I was working on creating a place for my right leg and keeping it forward. During my acupuncture session with McKay (for myself) we had talked about it and she said to make sure I wasn't blocking him with my left leg and left hip. She's a smarty! So while I was riding today I thought about keeping my right leg forward (But in real life.. where it's supposed to be.. forward for where I like to keep it) and keeping my hips even and my shoulders slightly turned in the direction I was going. And it was helping a lot. I made sure I wasn't blocking with my left seat bone or left thigh either. We got some nice trot and even some decent shoulder in and haunches ins. Oh, and we also got some lovely turn on the haunches when we started (although I think now that he's getting it, we'll have to pick up some energy with them).
So then we did some canter and I realized that I was somehow sitting more to the right. If I put just a bit more weight into my left leg, it seemed to improve the right lead canter. I was trying to feel biomechanically how he was aligned and where it was wrong and it felt like he was rolling to the inside. So if I sat a smidge more to the outside, it allowed his ribcage and shoulder to lift on the inside and then he was able to bend right and soften. When I didn't, he felt very stiff on the inside rein. So.... we'll see if my theory is correct next week. But it felt like it improved the canter and I don't think I messed up my position too much. Hopefully not. We also worked on the canter from the walk and I VERY clearly threw myself at him a few times causing him to get the wrong lead. When I controlled myself, he was able to get it. Then I got greedy... and we did some really nice counter canter serpentines both directions without breaking once! I even tried the simple change on the diagonal and once I was blatantly aware of the change in bend, more in myself than in him, but also in him, we got it. Yay!
We ran through BN Test B once too and then decided we were done. But I wanted to do a little hack and it had gotten warm so I thought we'd go splash in the lake. Since Dan likes to swim when it's fairly chilly out I decided to take my saddle off and go bareback. Of course it got cold because the wind picked up as soon as I untacked but it worked out fine. We had a nice bareback ride. We even trotted and cantered in the woods some. And I stayed on. There were NO shenanigans! (I still am a little disappointed!). It was a good day.