But something Chemaine said at our lesson a week or so ago has taken root and is trying to blossom into understanding. She reminded me that I have a very nice saddle that is both deep and grippy. She encouraged me to use my saddle to sit deeply and not lean forward. I've been keeping that idea in my mind as I ride. What I've noticed is that when Sydney does get quick on his forehand, I do lean forward, if only slightly, which makes it impossible to ask him to rock backwards onto his haunches.
As I lean forward, I've also noticed that I hold my breath, lift my shoulders, and round my back. When I lower my center of gravity, I exhale, lower my shoulders, and lean back. While riding this past week, I reminded myself to sit up tall and thought about lowering my center of gravity. When I did this, my balance was better which allowed me to use the inside and outside reins at the same time. I was amazed at how quickly Sydney quit running off on his forehand. Well duh.
Each ride this past week has tightened up this idea of sitting deeper and more relaxed. Once I develop a feel for something, it's in place, and I wonder how I couldn't feel it before. That's how this is. I am starting to truly understand why I can be more effective if I quit leaning forward.
Let the puzzle be complete!