I set a goal this week of riding Rogo everyday and really focusing, focusing, focusing on our training goals. I've done everything I can think of to help us - videoing, longing, memorizing and riding tests with strategy, trying to ride every step, using half halts (he's just learning these), putting a strap on the front of my saddle to keep my outside rein steady when bending (I held it when necessary to keep from giving too much), exercising (for me), pushing a little harder / asking for a little more from both of us.
I see some improvements. We were almost there in some key areas so a real push helps to confirm it. I can't help feeling I'll jinx us if I write it, but I think our left bend has finally arrived to stay! It's been a marathon - for months it's come and gone, gotten confused, gotten tense, etc. Now he's going into the corners and bending through his body at the walk and trot, while staying soft.
His head is still high and stiff fairly frequently on the long side at the trot, but it's gotten better this week and I have to get my riding softer too, in order for him to relax. It's coming.
Cantering is improving. He's carrying it much better, although the transitions back slid a bit. The steering is coming too. He's doing 20 m circles, which he just started about 10 days ago. It won't be long before he'll be able to do a decent training level test.
I know a trainer would have had him here sooner, but we have a great bond, I've learned tons, and he's making progress, so I'm happy.Cheryl didn't make it today because she had hay coming, so we re-scheduled for tomorrow. I longed Dan over cavelleti and he did well. Doug and Savanah had a lesson scheduled for tonight, but now it's raining. Glad I got my ride in early.
Two more days left for my training blitz.