Yay!!! It makes sense again! At least in my brain... for the moment. Now to just hope that I can maintain that!
(And I found this photo which illustrates it!! The scapulas!!!
Before I started my lesson Cindy talked me through my issues. Basically.... her and Beth were saying almost the same thing. (Which is super nice). I think that I just got way too in my head the other day. Or maybe the way Cindy explained it today happened to resonate differently/better.... Or maybe... I don't know. Thought tornadoes about the thought tornados, so... stopping now. :)
But basically.... Dan travels with his right shoulder to the right and his haunches in to the left, and his nose in to the left. But the important part (the part that I think I'm missing) is that it's not just his shoulders thrown to the right... his front feet are also flinging out to the outside, as are his shoulder blades. So... in essence (and I hope I'm getting this right... If not, it's not Cindy or Beth's fault.. it's my darn brain, and... while it might be wrong in my head, I at least got it right in my body today).... I need to align his scapulas. Ultimately that seems to be the piece that gets my brain and body to cooperate. I need to realign his body but lifting his left/inside rib cage, engaging those muscles, and lifting him, while aso turning his scapulas to the inside and somewhat swinging his haunches to the outside. And at this point, it's not about bend.. it's about alignment. Cindy was saying that he's falling in with the nose and haunches and flinging out with the front end/shoulder. So... it's easier to basically ride haunches out, to get his body lined back up (essentially falling out of the circle) and then I can realign and ride forward... vs trying to pull his shoulders back into the circle. That just worsens the situation because of how I react to get it done. So.... in MY BRAIN.... I thought of lifting my inside (left) seat and shoulders and thus lifting his rib cage up and out, which then pushed him into the outside rein, which I had to SUPPLE (not hold... not hang...) and realign his scapulas. If his scapulas are pointing to the rail... that's where he's flinging. If they are rolled and lifted and pointed in... he'll continue on the circle. I also needed to make sure that I wasn't using too much outside leg because while I thought I was blocking the fling.... I was ultimately asking for haunches in.... rather than allowing the haunches out. I am allowed to use my outside leg if I move it forward and poke him in the shoulder with my toe, to push those shoulders in a bit, but... even by using it at the girth (which... may not be true, but for me it ends up this way) I'm asking for haunches in. So... inside leg to outside rein (Duh!) but think of lifting and turning the scapulas to left, rather than the right. I didn't have to think about whether my right hip was forward or my left hip was forward.. because that's too much thinking. And I suppose that my left hip does come forward when I am thinking of riding the scapulas correctly but... again, not going there.
So phew.... We got some really nice work doing that. AND.... what is awesome is that when he was lined up properly, he was forward. I wasn't having to constantly kick or get him in front of my leg because.. he wasn't in his own way. And I wasn't blocking him. So.... like Beth pointed out... perhaps the lack of forward (assuming I've asked politely a few times..) isn't so much lazyness as me blocking him. She did point out that once you ask him a few times, he usually gives up the ghost and obliges. So... that makes sense. I think that Beth was able to get him lined up and thus he was able to be forward. I enjoyed that for a few rides but... after awhile.. I lost it. And I also lost the forward. So... now I need to remember that if he's behind my leg for a lot of my lesson, perhaps he's not aligned up.
We also worked on canter transitions because I mentioned to Cindy that I was convinced I was asking wrong. So.... turns out, yay... not exactly. :) It's not entirely me asking wrong... but when his body is lined up with that right front leg going strong and to the outside.. of course he's going to have to struggle to pick up the left lead. So... if I line up those scapulas, ride a little shoulder in.... he gets it. Fairly easily too. Cindy also mentioned that when sitting the trot... Or posting.. .the down beat was the preparation beat and the up beat was the swing of the hips and transition beat. Which.. I should know. And I think I knew at one point... but I"ve gotten in my head. Good grief... this is a common trend. But.. it helped a lot. We had some decent transitions... and some that... were there but we didn't quite trust it. But it seemed like we were getting it. :) Yahooo!
So yay.... A good ride. I felt much better about the whole thought tornado panic and HOPEFULLY I can keep that stuck in my brain and more importantly, my body.. and we can get this bad habit broken for good!!!