Really good dressage lesson

 Sunday was pretty miserable weather-wise, but we went down to the trainers anyway and ended up having the BEST dressage lesson.

I walked around a bunch, but when I went to pick him up and trot, he kept wanting to pull the bit from me.  Trainer ended up having us do turn on the forehand in walk, really focusing on keeping the outside shoulder and waiting to add leg until we had a good soft inside bend.

Once we picked up trot we warmed up with some soft circles and reminders for my hands.  Then Trainer had me ride really square turns, again focusing on the outside shoulder through the turn and re-establishing the correct bend once we were straight.  My gosh, this just unlocked something in him and Uno really let go of his under-neck and was really special.

Getting the canter transition soft and round took more lateral work.  The big takeaway here is that when I feel like I am losing him I need to focus on square turns and the outside shoulder.  Then ask for the bend AND WAIT!  At home I have been getting the straightness, but not waiting him out to relax before we move into something new.  You can see him really carrying himself in the pictures.  He was just so soft and flexible. Sometimes riding Uno can feel a bit mechanical under flat work. He bends more like a bike chain than a rubber band, but on Sunday he felt so supple.  

That does not mean he was easier to ride.  Holy crap does this require better timing, softer hands, and firming legs.


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