October 20, 2011
I had a wonderful day with Jackson. I worked with him for about 45 minutes under saddle. I started out at the walk, just to warm him up. I was riding with stirrups. Then I did some trotting, trying what Michael Stevens said about spiraling in to a smaller circle. I did that both directions. Jackson seemed pretty round and supple. At the trot, I was asking him to be round and to stay in front of the vertical. I was also trying hard to remember to keep releasing with my hand.
I also tried to open and close my elbows as I did the rising trot so that I wasn’t bumping him as much. Then I started working on the canter, I only asked for trot/canter or canter/trot transitions today. I did lengthenings at the canter as suggested. I tried to keep him round and to keep the tempo the same.
Then I went back to the trot. Then I remembered what Christina said to me about doing walk, halt, reinback, trot, halt, reinback, trot transitions. So I tried it. Wow! On the reinback/trot transition, Jackson was way in front of the leg and it felt like his withers were really lifted! It was amazing. He stayed round as we did several of these really nice transitions. Then I did reinback, trot, canter transitions and his canter felt much better.
Jackson really felt much rounder and much more in front of me today. It was a really fun day!