Prepared Ransom for a dressage lesson. His warm up on the side reins was quite beautiful - he was alert, paying attention, and had nice up & down transitions. One or two were stickie-gross, but much better than it's been.
I got on, and found his walk to halts pretty darn good. Three to four steps. If I hang on both reins, he leans back. If I wiggle wiggle alternating reins in the halt, he'll stop a little easier. Wiggle Wiggle! Trot to walk was a little stickie yet, but improved as the lesson progressed.
Forward Forward down the long sides! We pushed ahead for lengthened stride down the long side, and I worked on sitting a few trot strides here & there. It got better, but without collection, that trot ain't sit-able. It's bouncy and uncomfortable. When Ransom is collected, the trot is sweet! All will improve with muscle development.
Jen set up four ground poles on the circle, and we trotted over those a while. I improved my eyes - look ahead, and not at his neck. Ransom's neck is NOT going anywhere - Look Up! The first few times over the poles felt very different from the rest of the circle. The more we did it, the more it felt consistent over the whole circle, and the trot poles were just slightly elevated in his feets.
She then moved them to a straight line set up by the higher crossrail. Ransom was a bit rushy after the jumps last Saturday. Jen proclaimed, "Oh we can fix that. We'll slow him down." As Ransom approached the standards, his mood changed, until he realized that the jump wasn't a jump, but only four poles, and spread out far enough he had to jump, and he had to concentrate.
Back down to the low circle, and we worked a little on our canter. Two go's of canter in each direction, on the circle. Asked in the middle of the circle, and in the corner coming out, and both were quite magical. I am still having troubles keeping my stirrups, but it seems like they're also not entirely necessary. It's almost easier to go without the darn things - I feel more "stuck" in the tack without them. What a funny thought, eh?
Lesson time was at least an hour, not including warm-ups. Ransom did great. He was attentive, alert, and worked harder with more collection than he has in a very long time. He was very forward, and his transitions are certainly improving.