Sydney is really rockin' the keep your rhythm exercise to the left. Just by slowing my seat, or speeding up my posting, he matches his rhythm to my own; sweet! Even at the canter he is willing to stay soft and steady.
On Wednesday, I did a little work to the left, but concentrated most of my time tracking right. Dr. Jekyll definitely has a Mr. Hyde under that sweet brown-eyed face. And Mr. Hyde obviously hates maintaining a steady rhythm. I didn't even attempt to canter to the right. What was the point when the trot work isn't steady enough?
Here are our issues: We have no bend to the right and once we approach the vast openness of the middle of the arena, Sydney's RUN instinct kicks in. Riding with a loopy rein makes these two things quiet difficult to fix. I am not going to say that I rode through it perfectly, but I did my best.
I realized that If I really looked ahead to where I was going and focused on my "marks," I could get the bend, but it took a lot of corrections with the outside rein and a ton of inside leg. He finally gave me one or two decent circles that were fairly consistent in their shape and rhythm.
I totally get why Lois wants me to do this exercise. The more that Sydney can maintain the rhythm and bend without me micro-managing him, the easier it will be to ride him as I increase the contact. If he can't work with rhythm with a loopy rein, he is just going to be HEAVY with contact.
Good thing I have all the time in the world!