I had a good ride on Rogo last night and again this morning, and got Doug to tape us both times. I'm on an improvement blitz! We're doing a basic warm up of longing, then walk, trot, small circles in corners, then riding walk trot (intro) B and C. Also a small amount of canter to keep him going with that.
In some respects he did his tests well last night - very forward, bending, etc., but his head was up a lot in his trot. I mean a lot. Yikes.
Also, he carried his canter, but again he didn't transition as well as he did in the past. Seeing my canter was an eye opener. I've been a little smug to myself in the past that my canter seat was deep and secure. I did TONS of bareback canter on Savanah before I backed Rogo in an attempt to strengthen my seat, both in the ring and on the trail. We even galloped bareback on the beach. I grew to absolutely love it and literally went for five months without using a saddle on her, riding a lot. Joan would make me put pennies under my butt at the canter and I never lost one. So imagine my surprise when watching myself canter on Rogo and seeing my ass coming on and off the saddle! I had no idea. I'm not used to warm blood movement and it's quite different so I have to re-learn my seat. Mind you it isn't terrible, but it isn't good for a green horse to have a rider that isn't helping things.
So I'm a big part of the problem. I knew I was - I knew my feel for his canter wasn't as strong and balanced as with Savanah and Dan, but I hadn't realized that I was losing contact with the saddle at times. It helped to see it, because today I sat much more deeply and stayed with him. There were only two strides where I came up a bit. I saw this on video so I'm not cheating! Guess what - fairly good transitions, carrying and steering both ways. Yeah!
Also, he didn't poke his head out nearly as much in the trot today. I focused on trying to post as gently and quietly as I could, just rocking forward and back, and this really helped. Trouble is, I held him back and the trot was slow, not really a working trot. I have to put the two days' rides together now - forward, quiet posting, soft position,...
Another problem that cropped up today - he started fidgeting when we halted at X. He only really started practicing this move (center line and halt at X) a few days before our July 5 and 6 show, and took to it surprisingly easily. I haven't practiced it since then until now, but now I seem to have inadvertently done something to make him want to move. It's like he thinks we're about to do turn on the forehand, even though we haven't practiced that in weeks. I tried halting in different spots so he wouldn't anticipate X, but it didn't make a difference. The only thing that helped was taking my legs completely off and halting with just my reins. This of course isn't correct and not workable, but it tells me I must be doing something with my legs that I'm not aware of - Doug, get the camera and come in for a close up!
Tomorrow Cheryl comes. We'll measure July's goals and I think we're going to work on figure 8's. I'm looking forward to it.