Warmed Ransom up quickly free lunge. Found him happily very soft & relaxed. I didn't waste much time, we were already running a little late.
Hopped in the saddle, and got a few minor corrections on position in two point. Shoulders not so bad, back keeps rounding, though. Concentrated on that a bit, and hopped through the trot poles. After one of the sets of trot poles, I picked up canter in the corner, and cantered around the rail outside the poles, broke to trot, and then the poles again. homework... trot poles, but canter some before & after. practice transitions at two point to avoid "hunching over" in my position as I ask for the canter.
Jen and I talked a bit about where to go from here in preparation for canter-to jumps. She set up four ground poles, a bit over 10ft apart. R came out with the camera, and shot that video I already posted, about four go-overs. With each canter through the poles, I got a little more relaxed. At one attempt, the second, I think.. I half-halted with some effort heading into them. Ransom stepped ON the pole, stumbled down to a trot, and then picked up canter midway through pole 2 & 3. Whatta horse.. Ya know?! I didn't realize he'd stepped on the ground pole until I saw the video later. Yikes! homework... leave the poles as-is. Canter through, trot through, with an extra trot stride in between each pole. Focus on release and relax... No half-halts before the canter poles - let him balance himself.
Then on to the crossrail. Enter at trot, depart at canter, settle back to trot. Rode this about four or five times, improved back & shoulders with each rail. I found myself staring blindly into space a few times.. I wasn't really looking down, I just wasn't looking anywhere. It's a by-product of my intense concentration. heels down, shoulders open, back stretched, head forward, squeeze... somewhere in there, my eyes go on vacation. homework, focus on continued trot-to's, but bigger release, back straight, and encourage energy in the departure.
A great lesson over all. Jam-packed with a variety of exercises, and plenty to work on. We've got two weeks until our next lesson opportunity, and I've got more than enough to practice & improve until then.