I have so much that I want to say... So much that I want to go into long, rambling detail about. It's been hard because long, rambling details take awhile, and I have been incredibly scrunched for time what with work, homework, and horses. Typing one handed slows down the process even more.
I can't even begin to describe how amazing last week was. Isis was over-all very good (as usual), and Sat. we went for a 45 minute, early morning gallop. You would not believe how refreshing that was, how much it cleared my head from all the jumble of the week. Isis is very careful when she goes fast, it's almost as if she's afraid I might fall off if she's too exhuberant. I have to convince her that it really is ok to gallop like a bat out of hell with me on top of her!
Grady was great too. I went out on the XC course and cantered him over hills and through the woods. He didn't spook ONCE. My lesson on Grady with Lindsay was simply amazing. We did a cool exercise where I rode a 20 m circle one way and then a 10 m circle the other in a figure 8 pattern. This was supposed to activate his inside hind more. Then we changed the exercise so that I would stop in the center of the arena on a 20 m circle and do a few steps at a time of turn on the forehand - but he HAD to stay round. If he pulled or faught (which he did) we would continue until he gave in. Then the minute he took a step relaxed and supple, I sent him on at the trot. It took several trys before he understood that the trot was IMEDIATE. Once we got this down, we moved on to transitioning down to the walk, doing a few steps of turn on the forehand in the walk, and then trotting off. Then the turns were done at the trot, which felt very cool and oddly slippery. (That's really the only word I can use to describe that!) Then we did the turns at the trot and then imediatly stepped into canter. The quality of his canter was the best it has ever been, I can't describe the feeling of weightlessness - as if we where cantering on air. Lindsay said it was by FAR the best canter she's seen from him. Why? Because his hind end was (probably for the first time) fully engaged. Not just engaged, but also lifting - It was bordering on a spiritual experience, what I would imagine flying to heaven to feel like.
I rode Julia a couple times, and that was excellent also. I had some very fluid, correct, and beautiful leg yields BOTH ways, and also had some very lovely shoulder-in work on the center line. Lindsay wont let you do shoulder-in on the rail because it's too tempting to push the haunches out rather then bring the shoulders in.
Jumping on Sackett was also awesome. My whole lesson on Friday went well from start to finish. We worked on having a more fluid two point (toes OUT, Rocky: "IT'S NOT DRESSAGE!!!") which felt MUCH better once I got it, and then we worked on stadium. I actually rode two courses, and for the first time they both felt smooth from start to finish. Usually I start out strong, and then start to bobble, and then just manage to finish the course without any major disasters. But this time it was smooth as silk the whole way through. Actually, I did have ONE bobble at a ramped oxer going into a combination. Our distance was a bit long, but what was so great about it was that I absolutely recovered right away and the very next stride after the oxer was controled and we had a great distance to the next jump.
*sigh* Everything was going so perfectly last week... But I shall ride again on Friday!!