So the week after the 2-phase was pretty boring. Nothing really exciting EXCEPT we are still getting that fantastic canter! WHOO!!!! :) I rode here at home a couple of times and had a lesson on Friday 4/24. The lesson was great. We worked on her trot and canter in the beginning. I got a bunch of excellent upwards canter transitions and pretty decent canters. We even went one and a half 20 m. circles around at the left lead canter! It was fantastic! I am very impressed with how well her canter is coming along. My instructor kept telling me last year that we would be so far improved by the fall. Well, when the fall came and went and it felt as though our canter STILL sucked, I was pretty disappointed in myself.
BUT, now that it is only APRIL and our canter is SO fantastic, I am feeling a lot better. She is no longer lugging around on her forehand, nor is she completely strung out. Because we are starting to become balanced and supple in the canter, Dreamy is now able to canter so softly and smoothly. Instead of a NASCAR race, it is like a stroll in the park. And it is SO COMFORTABLE!!! I am just so incredibly happy with my horse. And with myself! I am starting to sit up and stay still in the saddle at the canter. When I improve, she improves, and vice versa.
We also started working at the end on the stretchy trot circle. Now, I have been trying some brief stretchy trot moments here and there in the last two weeks or so, but frankly, I had no idea the best way to teach this movement. I mean, we have no problems stretching to the bit and coming back up. Plus I have ridden it a million times on other horses who have already been trained to do it. But I want to do this right. Judy had me starting on a loose rein in the walk, asking for a few strides of trot (with the reins still loose), and then coming to the walk. The idea is that Dreamy will associate trotting with longer reins with the walk, and not suddenly RUSH when she realizes she has all that freedom! Then I can vary it up a bit and do it the other way around. The only problem is that Judy warned me this is the most boring thing to train EVER. I need to overcome that boredom by NOT rushing through it, which will only make Dreamy rush. I have to just do it over and over and over. Dreamy seems to want to come down, follow the contact, and then all of a sudden she brings her neck up a few inches and goes, "WHOO, NO CONTACT! Let's show 'em the Meadowlands Trot!" She LOOOVES to trot fast. She is a racehorse after all, right?? ;-)
Anyway, things have been good. She had the weekend off, as I was visiting a friend and her STB. (Post on that later). I rode yesterday and tonight. I will ride the rest of the week (I hope) and then give her Friday off. Our Linda Zang clinic is this weekend, so she needs to rest up! :) Hopefully my instructor will be coming to the clinic, so she can see how we do! :)