Marie was out of town last week, so this week I had two lessons. Fling on Saturday, and for the first time in probably six months, Faeryn on Sunday.
Marie reiterated that out of habit, Fling is still stepping wide with her right hind, rather than carrying more weight. We did a lot of exercises to help with that, and I rode her with a more attuned awareness to the problem. I can definitely feel when she is right – she is STRAIGHT and the halt halts go all the way to the hocks. Often she ‘blows me off’ at the half halt, especially at the canter. (“Go, go, go!” is Fling’s mantra.) Finally I got her straight enough, and carrying weight evenly and amazingly the half halts started going through and her canter got STRAIGHTER and she got more through. In this mode, I rode canter half pass and it was a whole different animal. I really was riding EVERY stride, and she was finally WAITING for me and obeying the half halts. Marie says this is the secret to fixing my flying changes as well. And that seems true, as yesterday I got three changes across the diagonal and they were not as straight as they need to be, BUT Fling remained COLLECTED and did go go BARGING through my aids after each change, but listened, and came back to very collected canter – enough so that we could execute three clean changes across the diagonal. Next I will start doing changes along one of our fencelines to encourage more straightness.
Report on lesson with Faeryn later. I will say it was her maiden voyage in the new trailer and she hopped right in!