Wow! I am so thrilled with today's lesson. Boo was soft and giving almost from the beginning. I did my usual walking warm up, and he was fantastic. I went ahead and threw some early canter into the mix to give him the message that I wanted him more forward. We still had some trouble with the connection at the rising trot, but mostly on the left lead. Tracey kept telling me I was to far to the right...AHA! It hit me! Boo wasn't being a bad boy! He was trying to stay underneath my ever-shifting body. The poor horse is a saint. Another problem I have is reacting to late when he comes off the bit. I am encouraged even though I am having these problems because I can see such an improvement with the regular practice I've been doing this past 2 weeks. Tracey got on at the end of the lesson and rode him. SHE had no problems whatsoever. She did say he wanted to lean into her outside leg on the left lead, but I think that is just years of habit built up, and he did what she asked when she asked him to move off her leg.
My next lesson is definitely going to be a lunge line lesson. I had thought we would do it this lesson, but the change in his softness was so apparent that we decided to go ahead and see what we would get in a regular lesson. I have my work cut out for me. I am very weak on my left side. I have to strengthen my core and strengthen my left side so that I can use it properly. I need to learn to recognize when I am not sitting straight. When I try to sit more centered it feels like I am sitting all the way over to the left. It feels really off balance and yet when I feel like that I am actually sitting centered. I have to relearn what I am doing because what I have been doing is wrong.
Baythoven left today for his first OHSET meeting of the year. The DH hauled him out this morning. I didn't go with him because of my lesson. We will head out early tomorrow morning to watch them compete in dressage and hunt seat. Hopefully tomorrow's post will have pictures.