I have been having a good, repeated AHA moment with Speedy. It has to do with him leaning on my inside leg. That simple AHA has led me to a more important and complex understanding which is this:
I am finding that there are two things that hold up my progress.
- There's a glitch somewhere, and I am either in the process of fixing it, or I don't know how to fix it in which case I consult my trainer(s).
- There's a glitch somewhere, and I am oblivious to it in which case I need my trainer(s) to point it out.
During my last lesson with Chemaine, she helped me work on getting a correct bend by getting Speedy off my inside leg with a poke from the inside spur. As soon as Speedy jumped away from my leg, I could feel the inside bend. For so long, I thought that inside bend came from the inside rein. Now I see that the horse has to be stepping away from your inside leg in order to curve around your leg.
This is great. I now see and feel a new problem area, which brings me to number 1, but fixing this issue is proving to be hard. I am poking Speedy at nearly every stride as we enter a corner, but he has dug in and is waiting for me to let the issue drop. That's been a pretty standard attitude for him over the course of our (lengthy) relationship.
In the beginning of our dressage journey, I asked, got no response, and quit asking. Later, I asked a few more times before I quit asking. Now, I have to prove to him that I will not quit asking before he finally acquiesces to my demand.
Right now, I am working on the lack of bend by doing every curved line I can think of - loops, serpentines, tear drops, and ten-meter half circles. I think the problem is getting better, but it's frustrating that it's taking so long to explain this to him.
Even though I feel a little bit hampered by this newest impediment, I also feel encouraged to have become aware of something new. That means there are even more things about which I am oblivious, but each time one of them reveals itself, I will have the opportunity to make even more progress on our dressage journey.