Ms Bridget was a little disappointed not to be jumping, but showed up to work anyways. Good pony! We worked on a lot of the same concepts as on Monday, neck rope included. In addition to our leg yields and transitions, we added in some shoulder in on the quarter line at trot, then expanded that concept into canter. Midge was a star, and by thinking shoulder in on the circle I think for the first time we were truly straight in the canter on our 20m circles. Of course we added in some spirals,( because what could possibly go wrong?! )and luck was on my side, pony has the concept and we did our first 10m canter circle ever. It wouldn't have scored great on a test, but the fact she tried and totally has the idea of sitting behind and lifting her shoulders over totally made my day. Go Midget!
As we walked around on a loose rein after our ride, it also became apparent pony now totally steers off my seat. That's been such a long time coming , it's been sort of there for a while but hasn't been an immediate response thing until this week. I wonder if the neck rope thing has somehow helped her to really make the connection.
Some of my homework this week is self imposed: being very conscious of riding FORWARD into a steady contact - even when I think Bridget is forward and pushing from behind there is another gear in there I should be asking for.
As for "actual" homework: lots of shoulder in on the quarter line focusing on having pony straight in her neck, but bent slightly through her body. Bendy pony is very bendy, so straightness is our forever homework. For Monday: practice cantering our jumps on a super straight line of my choosing, insist on a good rhythm, pony working from behind. When I think the canter is pretty slow and powerful, it actually needs to be slower and bigger. We're sort of speed demons these days!