It was in the softening of the outside rein that JL "caught" me letting Sydney go with the outside rein. Once I had him listening to the outside rein, she asked me to start softening with the inside rein. Right away she coached me about not dropping the outside contact. What? But I could still feel him there. I wasn't dropping the contact. I didn't know what she meant until I glanced down and saw my outside hand sitting a good six inches in front of my inside hand. Oh.
While I hadn't let Sydney go completely, I was setting him up to be able to blow through the shoulder and lose his hind end. I had just gone through all that effort to get him straight with his butt behind his shoulders, and there I was just tossing it away. Every time I give that outside rein away, Sydney (or Speedy) loses his balance, and we fall apart.
As soon as I really saw it for myself, I was able to feel why I had to "guard" that outside rein. Sydney takes it in a very obvious way. He leans heavily on it until my hand slides forward. Once I became aware of it, I was able to keep "sponging" him off of it. Duh … keep him soft on the outside rein.
Speedy is a bit sneakier in getting me to give that outside rein. He roots at it just ever so slightly with an oh, that's not very comfortable for me. If you could just give me a little more room … ah, thank you!
I am really excited about riding him this morning as I want to see if I am right. If I am more vigilant about keeping my hands together and even, can I keep him between my aids more consistently?