Goal: Keep soft hands without losing contact
Before I get started on the details, I want to say that Max was a ROCK STAR tonight!
Yups, Me's a good boy!
I laid out a plan which was pretty similar to what I mentioned in this post (minus the lunging). So I'll bypass listing it out again to avoid sounding redundant!
Instead I'll get to the juicy parts.
Amazing softness and forward tonight. I had to constantly remind myself to not over-use the reigns and I could tell he really appreciated that. I used a lot of seat and leg. Reigns-wise only slight squeezes where I needed them, if not I kept them as quiet as I could.
There were some adjustments of length here and there but for the most part he rode into the bit and was responsive to my seat and leg aids.
J texted me after riding him on Tuesday and reminded me to keep him forward by opening up my hips and not clamping down on him.
Tonight our canter started out sucked back and I KNEW I was doing something wrong. Yup..it was the hips! I kept the outside reign/inside leg contact present to preserve bend, squeezed my fingers gently for flexion, opened my knees and hips, and voila! With just a touch he stepped into a canter.
It was fabulous!
I also focused on having him keep the bend in the transitions up, and keep forward in the transitions down.
We ended with a very beautiful transition from trot to canter and a nice canter bend to the left (our trouble spot last week).
Love this horse!!!