Aha!! I love lightbulb moments! And in reality, I knew it already... I just couldn't quite find the right spot for my leg to make it happen. Thank goodness for Cindy!
Luckily I'm able to barter with Cindy for lessons so I'm back to consistent dressage lessons again. Yay! And I get to take both boys. Whooo hooo.
Anyways... I got on Fleck and Cindy said that while he's nice and round in his butt and back, he needs to be through in his neck. I know I KNOW!!! She said that to do that he does need to be forward but in the right way. She had me get his trot snappier. To do that I had to be a bit bouncier in my posting and focus on the up more than the down. She had me imagine trotting him over poles. And then imagine trotting him over cavalletti's. That got him a bit snappier. Then... I had to imagine trotting him over higher cavalettis. Apparently it worked because his gait improved. Whooo hoo. She also told me to remember to swing my crotch and not to let it get stuck in the saddle.
Tracking right has been an issue lately. I knew he was leaning in and bracing on the outside rein. And I knew that I was bracing right back. But I just couldn't figure out how to get him to soften other than throwing the reins away. Duh.. the answer was inside leg! Okay, I should have known that. And maybe I did and was trying but not quite the right way. Cindy told me to engage those lateral obliques to lift his ribcage up and away. Then it would create the space to allow his neck to soften and drop. Aha! But holy moly it was hard work. For me and Fleck. :) I really had to sit on the right seat bone, drop my right leg and make it long, and then really think about lifting his ribcage up and over. But it really helped.
Then we did some downward transitions. She wanted me to keep swinging my pelvis in the downwards because Fleck and I were bracing too much and I was stopping the swing. It took a few tries for Fleck to trust me, but we got much better downwards. They were much smoother.
Yay! Lots of fun. I can't wait til our next one. :)
Oh, and then we got hay on the way home. I managed to shove 10 bales in the back with them. :)