yeah, it was three rides this time.
Sunday I rode Rolinette, a regular arena ride. Working a bit more on "baby shoulder-ins" and leg yields, and transitions remaining round (instead of getting hollow). It is like I can feel her giving me a little more lateral every day. Well, maybe not everyday, but it is coming along.
Monday I got to ride the incredible Sage again, this time with input from Lisa -- she rode another horse she has in training while I rode Sage and she'd do an exercise and then I'd do it (although we could walk together) and get her input. I had to work really hard just to get him to walk on, first of all. We did some decent walk-trot transitions, but only after reminding him that's what I expected . . . and reminding him every time (like every second transition was good . . . well, maybe a bit better than that).
The main trot exercise was just shoulder-in (well, fore) then circle asking him to step out. Now, riding him was a trick because he was really unresponsive so you had to ask really hard BUT the mandate is to not nag him (which is what his mom has taught him to expect -- nagging). And then Lisa says to out of breath me, if you are working that hard you are doing it wrong. Well, ok, tell me how to do it right then. Actually, that would just be riding him more, and getting him accustomed to a quieter rider. To me, he was very wiggly. Lisa described him as very responsive but I don't particularly experience him that way -- more like he's looking for incessant direction and reassurance and he's wiggly doing that and then resistant when you do ask him for something. But gosh, he's such a nice horse and of course you just want to ride him GOOD and make him look his best.
The canter exercise, which is where I failed, was just this: 20 M center circle, prelude with a few sharp walk-trot transitions, then trot forward, collect a few strides (like three), leg back ask for canter -- if you get it, canter; if you don't, reorganize and do it again. Right was fine -- managed a couple nice transitions that stayed round which is really the aim. Left was a different story. Epic fail. Lisa said, "Put your leg further back." I said, "I'm about to touch his hip! for godsakes." Which, I will point out that the good part of that is that evidently my seat and leg are VERY independent of each other since she couldn't tell from inside the circle that my outside leg was doing that gymnastic. Now, ole Sage knows what this is and is capable of it but just didn't, and riding that and not being able to cowgirl up a little and have him pick up the dang canter was frustrating . . . but perhaps needful to him. I would be tending toward asking him to reliably pick up canter without being in a frame probably as my default seems to be to ask the horse to move forward and then come back from there instead of go quietly and gradually try to incorporate forward (not that I'm supposed to say forward at all of course but hey). I'm certainly willing to watch and participate and learn new stuff.
We didn't ride until like noonthirty and it was blazing hot and the sun came out to boot, and when it is that hot I can't wear my sunglasses riding (because they fall off my face -- I need those glass holding thingies) and if I'm in the sun without my sunglasses OR if I severely overheat, I get monster headaches, so I was cooked after this one. But it was well worth it. I did manage to not get really sick from it though.
Today I rode Rolinette again of course. I went out back, did a few hills, used the back arena to do the trot exercises I'd done with Sage, then more walking of hills, then the trot-canter circle. Rol was far more willing than Sage had been and this is going to be a great exercise for her I think, to get her to start picking up the canter while staying round. She's actually been better with the down canter transition than with the up one, so this is great with her. She was so responsive and willing, and we even managed a couple roundish.