Ha!!! I actually really liked it. Cindy had me ride with the "e-cube" thingy today. It's this 4.2 lb black rubber box with handles. You hold onto it while riding and it's supposed to help you learn how to ride without using your reins as much and to help keep your arms, wrists, fingers, and back in the proper position. And it really helped me!! She was nice and only made me ride Fleck with it. :) Ha! Didn't seem wise to use it on the unruly 4 year old. ;)
So yep. It helped me keep my thumbs up, my wrists even, and not lean forward. It's heavy enough that if you don't carry your elbows by your sides or hunch your shoulders, it hurts!! I'm actually sore tonight. But it really helped me to learn to carry my shoulders and elbows. Then it helped me with my turning. I tend to grab the rein. But instead, because I couldn't with the darn cube thing, I learned to turn my whole upper body and use my leg and seat aids. I thought I was doing it before. And I was trying and getting there a little bit. But this really helped solidify it.
The other thing it really helped point out was that I didn't need the reins. Fleck was going QUITE NICE by the end. It took awhile. Cindy's been telling me to not use the reins to get his head down. His head is where it needs to be. It's his back and withers that need to come up. By forcing his head down, I'm not fixing anything. So...this really helped me realize that. And sure enough, if I rode Fleck's back up (not really sure exactly what I was doing to accomplish this, but I was thinking about a soft crotch and lifting my shoulders and hips up), he got quite nice and round and lofty. He had a BIG trot today too. :) Of course we lost it some and when she took the cube away at the end, I started to fall back into old habits. But it did help a lot.
We still had some issues with the right lead canter, which is oh so frustrating for me. But it got better. And at one point, I asked for a nice trot (with the cube still) from the walk and Fleck leapt up into this gorgeous right lead canter! It was lovely! So I let him keep it for a few strides and then we got a nice trot. :)
I also realized that without my reins, I had to rely on my seat and legs a lot more, which made me realize that I also need to ride a bit to the outside with Fleck too, not just Dan. BUT... for whatever reason, my right leg always wants to be so far forward. I feel like it's back, but it's not. And that keeps throwing them out of the left lead canter. (Wait... that has to be the left lead but I don't really recall having left lead issues.... I'm tired... I don't know anymore). But I do know that Cindy was getting after me for the right leg being too far forward.
So yep..now to maybe get one of my own, or just make sure I remember how it felt and try to recreate that without having to spend the money. :)