|This is how he greeted me. Not sure where he found that many cobwebs.|
We didn't start out with the usual round at the walk to round halt. Instead, we started straight into the trot and stayed there for quite some time. Trotting forward, feeling him evenly in both reins. Leg yield a few steps off the rail, switch diagonals, leg yield a few steps back onto the rail to get the feel of inside leg to outside hand. This exercise revealed that I am not using enough leg, at all. Once I put leg on he was magically right there.
|Actually managing to keep ahold of the outside rein here, which he instantly rewards|
In the corners I, predictably, had to fight pulling the inside rein. Instead, especially to the right, I had to shift my weight out, step into the outside stirrup, and maintain the bend.
We actually cantered a couple of circles each direction too, very exciting! The canter went okay once I remembered to not pull on the inside rein and turn from my seat. He's so naturally lovely, I just need to remember how to ride. He has lost a lot of fitness in the past 2.5 months. He was not nearly as steady in the contact as he was then. My fault too, I've brought him back the past 2 weeks very, very tentatively. We talked about that. The quantity of work should be tentative, not the quality. So 15 minute rides are great, but he needs to work through his back during that time, the whole time. Even on a long rein. As he said, "the body is a suspension bridge, and if you let it sag it will fall apart very quickly". So correct, short sessions 5-6 times a week are the name of the game.
The barn owners took lessons too. In order to have dressage trainer come here, he needed 4 people minimum. So they both lessoned and I hauled over my friend's horse from my old barn. The barn owners really liked dressage trainer, which was a relief. It's like showing someone your favorite movie and being really invested in whether or not they like it. The barn owners liked him so much they wanted him to come back every other week. He may not have time to get us on the schedule every other week to begin with, but he said he could do monthly for sure. I may try to go to his place in 2 weeks to stay consistent and make sure we're on the right track.