Oh man!!! What fun today! So.... I had a dressage lesson with Kelly since I missed my dressage with Cindy and then jumped with Kristin Tuesday... (And yes... I realize I have a lessoning problem, but... I need help y'all!).
So.. we started off with making sure Dan was forward and staying forward even when asked to sit more. Kelly is always so encouraging with her extra tools of encouragement. Danny loves it! Today it was just a noisy pop timed with my leg aids and then the trailing lunge whip behind him when he forgot. So we got a trot on a small circle and got some engagement and worked on getting Dan to sit and use those hocks but also be soft and hanging in his neck. Without dropping his withers. It was fun. And a lot easier when I had the help of Kelly keeping him going. Tracking to the left, he still feels "broken" in his line of bend. But I think a lot of it is my darn left hand crossing the withers and my right hand being too lifted. It's much better if I can use that outside rein aid with my hand low. And it is even more helpful when I use my inside leg and then slightly take my outside thigh to help block the bulge. I've got to be careful to not go overboard, but... just to be there just in case.
We then moved to the canter. And wow. We got some really nice collected and rocked back canter. He felt pretty awesome! I didn't quite get his back up like the other day, but he was so soft and hanging in the bridle, it felt great. So then we talked about HOW TO ask for a change. We started with how to ask for the canter. Then we did walk to canter to walk and then canter the other lead. And one particular spot in the arena. This was on purpose, to help Dan realize we were about to try to do something there. So then we got on the right lead canter, got our nice happy collected canter. (SIT UP HOLLY!!!!) and then we came across the short diagonal to our spot on the wall and then as he went up in the stride, my aids switched to the left lead canter aids. So I switched both wide hands slightly to the new inside, turned my shoulders slightly to the new inside (but NOT FORWARD OR DOWN HOLLY!), and then pushed my left hip forward with a slight lift. And... he changed in front!!! And then we half halted and after a few strides he changed behind too. GOOD BOY!!!!! So we did that a few times and one time he swapped in front, took a stride, then swapped behind. Awesome!!!!!! So then we switched to the other way, which I honestly thought would be easier. And it wasn't. It was way harder! I'm not sure why. Basically I'm collapsing on that side. So Kelly.. (I almost fell off laughing.... she acted it out) told me to do a karate kick... herky.... scissor kick!. Basically, she wanted me to exaggerate the aid because I was failing miserably at it. Hee hee. It was funny. And it helped. The first time he swapped up front (maybe in the back, I don't know), but then immediately swapped back to the left lead instantaneously. Hee hee. We did manage to get one or two changes in the front end. He got lots of praise and we quit. :)
Kelly said that he was actually really quite awesome. She said for the very beginning introduction to it.. he was a super star and got an A+. I got a B. ;) Ha!! I must sit up and engage and not collapse and get better body control and better aids. But she also said that the only way to do that was to practice and that I couldn't mess him up enough that he couldn't be fixed. So.. we shall practice. :) But she said that many horses don't get that far for awhile, so.. she thinks this may be his "ace in the hole" and that he may be a change machine. Hee hee. I kind of agree. :)
So yep. Lots of fun. It was a hot day so we didn't do much else but hose him off and then I brought him home. I did buy him a traffic cone to play with so we'll see if he likes his new toy. :)
oh... and this came today :) :) :) Phyllis Burchett is so talented!