So far, Speedy and I have been chipping away at the simple change - it's getting better quickly. I've also been riding the shoulder in a little better now that my aids are more correct. Our newest project is the haunches in, also known as travers.
While I could get Speedy's haunches to move off the track, what I wasn't able to do was keep an inside bend at the same time. And even now, a week later, we're still struggling with the suppleness needed to move that way. Speedy doesn't think he can bend that way, and he's positive that he can't do it at the trot. Just wait until I tell him he has to eventually do it at the canter!
Once I understood the aids, we moved on to a slow trot which we did like this: bend, haunches, GO ... adjust ... Go ... adjust ... Go. In fact, she wanted me to surprise Speedy in the GO so that he learned that being soft also means that he has to be in front of my leg. There was a lot more adjusting than going.
Besides leading to the half-pass, travers is also an excellent way to supple your horse for the collected canter and the simple change though walk. And now that I am maintaining the inside bend (better anyway), everything else is improving at the same time.
Our next CDS show is in two weeks. I feel like it should go better, but we might still be in the ugly part of it takes a lot of ugly before it gets better thing. We'll see what happens at today's lesson.