I guess I should call this post, FEELINGS. That seems to be my word of the day, week, month. It's all about feel.
Before I started the lesson, I explained that to the right, I think we've got it (by George). I could FEEL Speedy pulling me along as though he had a hold of my hand. When I asked for a halt, it was sharp and his head stayed down without popping up. Yep, came JL's response. That's right.
To the left was a different story. I couldn't get that feeling of being taken by the hand. Speedy really wants to drop behind the vertical, or hide, as JL describes it. To "fix" our left circle dilemma, JL had me work on BENDING Speedy through the rib cage. OHHHH ... That's where the problem has been: he hasn't been yielding to my leg pressure. I goosed him pretty firmly with my spurs until he started yes ma'aming my leg. Then JL had me tip his nose in and yield, yield, yield. When he still wasn't bending through all the way, we picked up the canter and ROCKED the rein.
And that's when we got IT. He finally took me by the hand and carried me along.
We worked on a few other ideas that created several AHA moments. When he wants to be forward, I am going to let him carry me by sitting tall and leaning back. This will balance the teeter-totter (my own visual). Pretty soon he's going to realize how much work that is. When he does, I am going to ask for him to slow down and trot UP. And that's where I will be able to lengthen and shorten his stride.
We had a really great lesson. I am finally, FINALLY developing a feel. JL didn't have to coach me at every stride. I can now FEEL when he isn't active behind, and I can FEEL the difference between being heavy in my hand and taking my hand. Two very different FEELINGS.
Maybe I should have called this post, Feelings, as in "Feelings, nothing more than feelings." - Morris Albert