So... Look at how good he looks!!! He had a session with Kathryn yesterday and she got him to open up his withers! He was able to take a big deep long breath! Yay!! So, instead of our long 2 hour walk, I gave him the day off to let his work settle. And I was getting a migraine.
But today we had a lesson with Beth. I decided to do some flat work since we're going to school XC on Sunday with Julie. And I'm so glad I did! It was awesome!! Fleck started off a bit mincy but after a stretchy canter, he felt amazing! We worked on our trot lengthens. I need to shoulder fore in the corner and then burst out in the lengthen! However, I need to be strong enough to support him and strong enough to be able to keep him supple too. And we got some decent lengthens!! But then I need to remember to collect him afterwards, so that we show a difference. I can't just let him run off his feet right after.
So then we went to the canter. Ha!! Poor Beth. I love that she takes the time to talk me through it. She wanted me to flex and counter flex him but only at the poll. And we did this at the trot too. I was to keep the inside bend in his barrel and neck, but change the flexion back and forth at the poll. At the canter, going to the right, she said that we get too bent in his neck. So she wanted me to keep his neck straight! Which meant really holding that left/outside rein. However, when I do that, he tends to counterflex. Nope, no longer allowed!! So that's why she keeps telling me to keep an active inside rein too! Duh!! So yes,keep the neck straight with a firm outside rein, and keep my inside rein active and low, to keep the inside flexion. But just enough to get flexion, not enough to cause him to fall in. So then Beth pointed out that when I did that, Fleck would try to bulge his right/inside neck in and that wasn't allowed either. It was because he was falling in. So now... I've got to sit to the right (thanks for point that out too Kathryn), keep my right leg on him so he bends around my leg, keep the inside flexion and keep his neck straight! Harder than it sounds! Easy enough, but hard for us. Bad habits are hard to change. And it requires a whole lot of core and right leg. Which is apparently weak on me. But yep.. And it's the tiniest little bit of flexion change that causes the whole train to derail. If he goes slightly to the outside at the poll, then his neck bulges to the inside, then his barrel follows. Sigh... But now I know! And now I need to get greedy!! And keep it! And I think it just might be easy enough. Because that canter...wow!!! It felt amazing... straight, supple, powerful... Sweet!!! And that's to the right too, our icky side!
So then we went for a short hack with Hannah. A nice change of scenery.
It started getting darker and darker when we got back. And we didn't make it! It downpoured just as I was loading the ponies up. Oh well. :) Rain won't melt us. :)