He had the weekend off since I was out of town, but he got turned out to run and play on Sunday. By Monday morning, I had actually forgotten all about Wednesday's trouble until JL asked me about the rest of last week's rides. She was glad to hear that the drama seemed limited to that moment in time.
I don't even know how to write about Monday's lesson without boring the breeches right off you. To say that somebody deserves a pat on the back would be a colossal understatement. All three of us, JL, Sydney, and I have put in a lot of effort over the past three years, and the results are finally being seen.
For the last few lessons, JL has had a very smug cat-who-ate-the-canary look on her face. I actually teased her about it on Monday. As a teacher myself, I know how totally gratifying it is when a student FINALLY gets something. It's hard not to feel proud of yourself, and the feeling is well-deserved.
She actually made the comment that we had perfect moments during the right lead canter. And there were moMENTS, as in plural, not just a singular occurrence! According to JL, I am finally riding my horse and actually helping him to be balanced.
To the left, my homework is to just continue to get Sydeny to lighten up so that he carries more weight on his hind end, but the canter departures are getting better and prettier. Since we can now walk, trot, and canter (at home), we're going to start working on more changes of direction and cantering the long sides.
I am really, really proud of what I've been able to do with this horse. JL reminded me on Monday that there would have been no shame in selling him two years ago; that's how difficult of a horse he was. It's not that I didn't know how to ride, I just didn't know how to ride such an anxious ball of tension. I am very glad that I stuck it out with him. He has made me a much better rider.