What's been happening this past week is this: I ask for some activity behind and Speedy does this hippity-hoppity thing up front trying to get away from the contact. I keep the contact by widening my hands or sitting tall and leaning back. Then we canter ... hard. Again, the side effect is that his canter transitions are improving quickly, but we look terrible at the trot. But I get it. I can now feel when he's actually pushing off from his hind end rather than dragging us around with his front.
When I rode on Monday, we spent a lot of time cantering. When I felt that he was at least somewhat active behind and connected back to front tracking left, I gave him a walk break and changed direction. He started out with the same No, I won't attitude!, but after a couple of canter circles, he decided to play ball. From a working canter, I sat up, tightened my core and gave a soft squeeze on the outside rein. Speedy rewarded me with a very nice canter to trot transition that was active behind. Good boy! I praised him like he'd just won gold and hopped off. We had only worked to the right for just a minute, but he gave me all that I could have asked for so what more was there to do?
I am hoping that JL can help me fine tune this more activity behind thing at this morning's lesson. We're leaving for a CDS/USDF/USEF two-day show on Friday and I want to leave feeling confident. I'll let you know what she thinks!