When I put my leg on now, he practically leaps forward. It's awesome. As I collect his walk in preparation for a transition, I can feel him bunch himself up ready for the cue. When he takes that first step forward, it now comes from behind (rather than dragging himself forward) with a rounded back.
It feels amazing, but now I look like a complete moron as I bounce around trying to balance myself and keep that newly found energy from exploding every which way. During the lesson, Chemaine told me that I would get the rhythm, but it's been challenging.
I had just gotten comfortable with a longer stirrup. Now, I am raising them, lowering them, and thinking about chucking stirrups altogether. On a more positive note, the new gel handled whip is working out amazingly well. Who knew that a tip that actually extended out instead of flopping around could be so much more effective?
We've been schooling the medium to collected canter, but it hasn't been easy. I wouldn't have had the courage to stick to it had Chemaine not given me "permission" to ride with such a heavy feel. From the medium canter, I am holding him firmly with added leg/whip until he'll soften. As soon as I get a moment of softness (self carriage?) in the collected canter, I send him forward again.
As we were pounding our way down the long side, I asked him if he was ever going to get it. We took a walk break, and then went at it again. And wouldn't you know it, the dude finally started transitioning from a medium canter to a collected canter without being against my hand.
Maybe Second Level on my slightly downhill, slightly long in the back, non-warmblood Arab is a possibility. If anything, I can stick to it like nobody else!