When we finished the lesson, she told me that I am doing a great job with Izzy. While I love to hear that, I am always waiting for her to qualify the compliment with the addition of "... for someone who doesn't know what she's doing." I know that she doesn't really think that of course, but I do feel like his progress would be much faster under a better rider. And of course it would, but he's got me, so our progress is what it is.
Up until now, it's been about giving him some rudimentary skills: go, stop, turn, etc. Now that's he's more educated, I can start really working on the dressage pyramid. For this lesson we started focusing on throughness and even some straightness.
This took me a little while to understand. Essentially, I have to be very firm in my outside half halting rein while using my outside leg to keep him from drifting all while asking him to give to that outside rein with my inside leg. We all know this as inside leg to outside rein. As I asked him to soften to the outside rein with my inside leg however, I kept losing his shoulder to the outside.
To help both of us understand the concept better, Chemaine had me compress Izzy's stride with my outside aids, effectively slowing him down, while asking him to soften with my inside leg. Once he softened to the rein, I could give him an inch and ask for a longer, more forward stride. Each time he lost his balance, I again compressed his stride, and asked him to soften to the outside rein.
My video quality was pretty poor for this lesson so you can't hear what Chemaine is saying, but essentially, she's having me get him soft to the outside side rein before I ask for the canter. She had me think, compress ... soften ... canter. You can see both of us struggling, but once we get it right, the canter is really nice and soft. In the video, I am deliberating patting him over and over during the canter because it helps me release the inside rein and it confirms for Izzy that he's doing exactly what I want.