Now that we're over the most rudimentary basics, meaning we can walk, trot, and canter with some semblance of a frame, she is leaving it to me to let her know what comes next. I reported that I felt comfortable with how we're doing with the 10-meter half circles and the leg yields. Our weak spot at the moment is the canter departure. We also need to slow down the canter so that Speedy can get off of his forehand.
JL had me pick up a trot, which by the way is getting really good. She instructed me to think about really slowing down his front end as I asked for the canter. At the same time, I need to be really strong in my back so that as he tries to shoot forward into the canter, I can resist the lengthening of his spine. I need to gently slide the rein (rock, sponge, whatever) to encourage him to lift up. And, I need to continue to slide (rock, sponge) as Speedy goes through the whole upward arc of the canter.
I tend to to want to throw his neck away as soon as he begins the upward phase of the canter. To help him go up, I need to stay with him all the way through the up and down wave of motion. That was a huge revelation. I only stay with him as he begins the liftoff, but then I let go as he arcs across the top.
Once I maintained the contact by being very resistant in my back, Speedy stayed round and less strung out. The result was a better canter that was uphill as opposed to the runaway wheelbarrow effect that we sometimes get.