Fleck and I had a GREAT lesson today. :) :)
I was smart and got there a little bit earlier so I could warm him up. We took a hack around the pastures and did a little bit of trotting. That way he was warmed up and we could get to work. As soon as I got into the ring, Cindy commented on how nice he was looking already. I did a canter or two in each direction and then we got to work.
We had some really nice work. He was doing awesome. We worked on lifting the wither and keeping him powerful but not choppy. We did some tough exercises, which were very helpful for me especially. We did two 10 meter half circles and they sucked! He's not really bending right. I really need to TURN him and keep him bending around my inner leg. And then we realized that *I* need to align my body. I am quite happy to turn my shoulders to the right, but turning to the left is hard. Cindy had me align my sternum with my chin and my shoulders with that. I really have to think hard about sitting down on the left seatbone and shifting my shoulder back and my sternum over, without sending my chin flying way past my sternum. Cindy said if my head is spinning too far to the left, it's because my sternum didn't come with it. Aha!! It really made such a big difference when I started riding with my shoulders directing.
So then we did shoulder in down the quarter line. It was hard, but much better when just moved my shoulders. That's all it took. So then we did quarter line, starting with shoulder in and then half-passing. We started at the walk and then half-passed into the trot. That was tougher and it took some coordinating of the aids on my end. But we got it. Then we upped it into the canter. Eeeek! That fell apart! Cindy kept telling me to bring my outside leg back. I swear it felt like it was at his tail! And he bolted when he felt me move it the first time. But then we settled and with my leg back "by his tail... ha!! It was only just behind the girth",we were able to get a fairly nice half pass. Yay!
I believe we quit with that. Nope.. wait! We worked on the trot some more. We did some sitting and some lengthening. I haven't sat the trot for that long in eons! But it was great to be back at it.
Fleck really upped his game today. And Cindy said that I was becoming a better ride thanks to Dan. Having felt a horse with a slower tempo, it allowed me to work on my body. So now, with Fleck, instead of just doing A, B, C, D and panicking... Cindy wants me to do A and feel what happens. If it doesn't work, try B. Then try C. But FEEL what happens first. And it works!! I actually have time to think. I can feel things. Yay! Peri even said today that we were ready for the Sandra Hotz clinic. :) Whoo hooo. I'm starting to feel like a dressage rider. Just a little bit. But that's better than before. :) :)