We had a fabulous lesson today!
We started off doing some trot work and some 10 meter circles and then moved on to the canter. In the canter Cindy had me come down centerline and then leg yield (at the canter) to the rail. It was tough to think about leg yielding vs half passing. Cindy wanted me to move a bit more diagonally and not so much half passing. She told me as we were tracking left to swing my hips left and move my seat left, rather than focusing so much on pushing with my right leg. OHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Lightbulb moment!! Duh.. it's not so much about pushing him over, as allowing/guiding him over. SOOOO much better when I did that.
Apparently that's my big problem with my left side. My left hip doesn't want to swing as well. So... when we kept the counter canter on the short side, I kept shutting him down. Cause yes, she made us then counter canter on the short side, cut across the short diagonal, and then go back on the proper lead. :) So much harder on the left lead. And that's why. So... now that I know that and had it brilliantly displayed to me.. I think I can fix it. :) :)
So then... poor Dan. Hee hee.. I swear he is so freakin' smart. We've been working on the counter canter a bit and not having him swap. Then we also worked on picking up the correct lead from the walk... and he kept picking up the wrong lead. So now... when he broke in the counter canter, Cindy had me pick up the counter canter on the rail. And of course... he gives me the true lead. Dang it horse.... I can't ask correctly apparently. Even Cindy noticed that he gave me the counter canter and then corrected it himself. It's like he knows what I'm asking for but also realizes that I'm asking wrong. (well, wait... I guess when I am working on true canter, he picks up the wrong one and then swaps after he gets aggravated at my inability.. but today, he picked up the counter canter and then decided I had gone batty and we were supposed to be on the true lead so he'd swap after one stride, so... maybe he's as smart as I think and MAYBE I also got better about my aids!). But regardless he's a trooper and was trying.
So then we did some trot work. Cindy had me pick up the sitting trot and we worked on getting more lift and sit and push. She said to half halt in the up part of the gait. We half halted when his legs were off the ground, so he would sit and push more. I'm not exactly sure how to accomplish that at the trot, but.... the imagery of it worked as I was able to half halt a bit differently and Wow!!! Danny got lofty!! Suddenly my core was engaged because I felt the burn and his trot got super nice feeling. :) It was hard work. I think I rolled farther back on my seat bones a little, "slouched" a little and then altered my half halts to create that. It was nice!!!
We finished with an attempt at a trot lengthen across the diagonal but I messed it up. Cindy said to think about trotting over longer trot poles... it was a slower tempo, even if we covered more ground quicker, but definitely not a quicker tempo. A slower tempo because the stride length is bigger. And I know that, but for some reason I can't quite convince my butt of that. So hopefully the trot pole thought will help.
Yay. Fun ride!!! Danny was falling asleep in the cross ties after his rinse. Hee hee... Being a grown up horse is hard work. :)