A few days ago I was lamenting (in my mind anyway) about Fling’s ‘lack of progress.’ It has seemed very slow going, improving her canter (well, mostly improving ME at the canter if truth be known) and still slugging away at the flying changes. Two steps forward, one step back.
I always am second-guessing myself about her warmup, too. For the longest time it seemed like it took f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get her warmed up and ready for the ‘tough stuff.’
Tonight was magical. She is still tugging just a TAD bit too much on the left rein when going right – but she warmed up much easier. I am doing a LOT of changes of bend/direction and ‘head to the rail’ leg yield in both directions – and moving to trot quicker than I was. As Debbie stressed, I really focused on the QUALITY of the gait at the trot. I kept asking for MORE impulsion and quicker hind leg. I have to think about keeping my seat still – but not tense – and ‘letting’ her back move – and actually encouraging it to do so. All the sudden all the pieces of the puzzle came together. She was forward, ‘dancing’ and her back was like a little trampoline. The canter work was AWESOME and even the ‘tough’ left half pass was good. Then I did counter canter in a circle and did flying changes. They were so straight, smooth and calm I couldn’t even tell she changed.
Dare I say it? I think I can see Fourth level from here.