So... it rained all day Sunday.... and was cold and windy and miserable. The footing was slop and I just wasn't feeling it. What was the point in going through all the effort to walk in the rain. :( Argh. And then Monday I worked all day although the weather wasn't much better. I probably would have actually attempted it Monday had I been able to, but oh well. I did take the boys to get shoes at Inyazura and it rained ALL morning long. But the afternoon sort of cleared up. But oh well. I was working.
So today was dressage day. Of course.... SUNSHINE and I'm in the indoor. ;) Ha! But the footing was probably too sloppy for anywhere outdoor and it was actually pretty gross and overcast until the last half of Dan's lesson anyways. But then it was awesome!! I think it's the first time we've seen the sun in 2 weeks. Literally! And tonight I saw stars. :)
But anyways... I was able to hack Fleck two laps around before our lesson. I'm getting better at being early/on time. :) We went in the ring and went to work. Cindy was impressed with how quickly he is getting bouncy and using his back. And she's proud of me for fighting the urge to just pull his head down. It was helpful to think about lifting his back by lifting my chest. I was still focusing on that lower neck muscle and the lift and bounce. We worked on the canter some and getting him to not be so crooked. Cindy said that in order to avoid the crookedness, I had to focus on getting him in a shoulder in. It was tough because I had to keep him supple in the outside rein (especially the left) but he wants to hang on me so my left shoulder gets so sore and tight. I have to remember to move it and not hang right back on Fleck.
We also worked on the trot lengthen and Cindy made a huge discovery in my brain. So as we came across the diagonal in the extended/medium trot, I would push and lengthen my tempo to get Fleck to go bigger. Then coming back to the rail, I would make my post smaller and hold. Which works... as it makes Flecks trot small and choppy. So I'm showing a difference. And I thought that was a good thing. BUT... Cindy pointed out that I don't want a short small choppy stride. I want just as big of a stride but with a different joint articulation. I want Fleck to keep the same tempo but go from forward and out to the same bigness but up and down. OHHHH.... That makes total sense! But man does it feel awkward... So I basically changed my post from forward and out to up and down but keep the tempo and keep the big. It feels very wonky and like it looks ... kinda like a crazed monkey humping away... but Cindy said YES! So I'm hoping that it looks way better than it feels. It makes total sense. I need to get video to convince my brain I don't look like a weirdo. :)
We didn't do it at the canter but we talked about it. It's the same thing. Instead of shutting my seat down (and duh... this is why he breaks), I need to keep my canter seat aids just as big, but more up and down instead of forward and out. So... fun stuff to play with. :)
We then finished with a stretchy circle and as I went to bring Fleck back up, he inverted and hollowed out. Cindy caught it happened and caught me and prevented me from reacting with my reins and using instead my seat. She said that she really thought that Fleck was just testing me because she saw him jut his jaw out and brace and then lift his head. So he was ready for me to get angry with my hands. Cindy told me I could use my reins, but only 20% of the aids. USE MY SEAT and legs. And duh.. if I concentrate on the bend, he stays supple. Of course it helped that I didn't react the first time. So... another mental habit to break. When going from stretchy back to working, NO REIN REACTION or over-reaction anyways and instead BEND HIM!
So yep.. good ride. Good stuff. Fleck was a little wild because it was super crowded. But he was pretty good. :)