Had another great lesson with Kime. We started out with my saddle and did a saddle fitting. She changed my shim setup and added a 3rd set to the pad. My saddle was then a little higher in the front and Z had more room for her shoulders. We also talked about riding without the wool pad underneath the Theraflex. I use the wool pad because of the rubbing the Therflex was doing on her sides. I'm going to use the wool pad only intermittently for a while so that I can watch for even sweat patterns. After the lesson, we checked out her back closely for signs of tightness in my body while riding. We found that there were some ruffled hairs directly under my seat, meaning my middle back is tight while riding. I'm not surprised.
We focused on freestyle riding. We used the figure 8 pattern and I played with transitioning up and down without reins. Our stop is getting much better and I'm learning how to be truly consistent with Z. We talked a lot about where I look while riding and where I want to look for turning. For now, I'm over-exaggerating where my eyes look because my head needs to be higher and I tend to look down. I've known that I needed to fix that, but it's the first time I've focused on that with an instructor.
Later, I practiced riding with 1 carrot stick only and transitioning through halt, walk and trot on the figure 8 pattern. Our transitions are so much nicer and Z really moves out with a tremendously better attitude. I'm simply bringing my life up to ask her to up transition and bringing my life down to transition down. I learned that pointing my toes up high helps me to bring my life down.
For the next 2 weeks, I'll practice the bridleless riding, turning with my body and good focus, transitioning up and down and transitioning while turning (wow, that's hard!!).
We talked about Cowboy and some things to work on with him to help him improve. She highly recommended passenger riding regularly. That's where we'll go next.