I love this!!!
Fleck and I had our lesson with Sandy today. It didn't go great. ;) Fleck was trying and I was trying but I just couldn't get him unlocked in the canter. Mostly because I couldn't unlock myself. So... Sandy had to get on. Hee hee. Poor Sandy. Fleck had a complete and total tantrum!! He threw everything he had at her - haunches in, haunches out, head up, shoulders out, sewing machine trot, piaffe, passage, backing up, crow hopping, baby bucks... it was ridiculous. Just ridiculous! All she was doing was sitting quietly up there asking him to go between her legs and reins. But he took serious offense.
Eventually though.. he gave up and settled and was LOVELY! She even said that he had quite a nice suspension to his trot. His canter was a bit of a disaster though, especially tracking right.
So then I got back on. And wow!! I could totally feel a difference. So basically I need to be more adamant about getting him supple and lifting through his withers and down towards the bit with his head hanging. Not braced! My elbows need to stay bent and at my sides. My seat needs to stay evenly on him. He tends to throw me onto the left seatbone. My left hand MUST quit pulling and blocking him. I need to use an opening rein. And I must sit firm and tall and use my core to hold him in that right rein, rather than my arm. Remember bent elbows with low hands. Also, I need to relax my legs on him. I should be able to just feel his hair, not be clamped down tight. That way, he is maintaining the rhythm without me constantly nagging, but I can quickly and softly put his body back where it belongs. I also need to pay more attention to my upper body. When I ask him to bend, I need to bend. If my head is turned, my upper body also needs to turn.
When I accomplished ALL those things.. at the SAME time... we had a lovely horse! :)