Amazing lesson! Really pushing me to take things to the next level. I watched some of Jen's lesson first, then let Miss Z catch me to warm up for our lesson. We ended up going from about 1:30 to nearly 5pm. I was tired!! Some notes:
1) Falling Leaf - Z's shoulders are caving in. I need to move the fore around more and keep the distance between us the same all the time.
2) Modified Rock Slide - moving Z1, then Z4, then Z1 again the other direction. At the end of the 22, I could influence the zones, but Z would not stop moving when I stopped asking. How interesting! I worked on bringing my life down more clearly and quicker.
3) Back-up - we started out just showing transitions on the rail. We got our backup card pulled because it was slow and I was working harder than she was. Sometimes I get our back up good and then other times, it's like moving her through cement. Is it just me? Anyway, Kime helped by adding a ton of commotion in Z1 while I when through the phases. She became our phase 4. That helped, Z got lighter... Now, how long before I add the cement back in? lol
4) Transitions - if I feel the need to use my reins, then use them effectively and drop them again! I was not being clear and not being effective, which forced me to hold the reins more than I needed.
5) I have tight shoulders. Yup, I sure do.
6) Tailbone to the cantle! I love this one. First time I really could visualize what I wanted my body to do and get it done. This really helped me round my lower back and keep it that way.
7) My horses pushes me up in the rising trot and I control my down. I know that. I wasn't doing it though. Also, the sitting trot is a backwards rising trot. This means that I push myself lower and deeper on the diagonals. This is the way to ride the trot bareback. Ohhhh!
8) We used the western saddle at first, then switched to english. I've been gripping with my legs in the english saddle. Turns out my legs are stiff when I ride english. If I swing my legs a little, I find a lot more harmony. How interesting is that?
9) We did ride the rail, transitions, and then a ton of passenger lesson at the canter. I realized the canter PPL in the english saddle was a little harder for me. Neither is very difficult, but I have to keep building my independent seat in the english saddle.
10) 9-step backup! Remember, the horse doesn't move back until step 8! If my horses starts to halt on step 5, keep her forward until step 8. This builds the soft feel on the reins and prepares the horse for contact and finesse riding.
11) LEADS! Detecting the lead, knowing the lead, bringing my lead hip forward, asking for it from the hind and not the front. So much to know and I've got a learning curve to ride still. I was a little chastised because I'm not always asking for a specific lead. Apparently, I'm too advanced to not be that particular. Doh! We rode around at the PPL in the canter and I called out the leads. With Z, I was wrong a lot of the time! If I sit in the lead position, and I'm in the right lead position, it should feel better. I had to do that a while before I started to feel the difference. Wow! I've gotten pretty far w/o this info. Now, I have to rebuild some skills with that knowledge. What a blast! It's like building a house. It's one thing to build the frame, it's another entirely to put the electrical system in. So, I'm now going to be very particular. Lead arm out and moving, lead hip forward, feel the hind lead take off. Time to pay close attention to the feet at the canter. Also, if I could get Z to canter a little more slowly, that would help a ton.
12) Swing my legs at the canter in the english saddle - at least until I get more fluidity. Lean wayyy back and keep my tailbone to the cantle. And at the trot, follow with the shoulders. I do that at the walk, time to follow-up at the higher gaits.
13) Z and I were both cooked when it was over. I was starving, we were both sweaty... Z had given me her all. I'm learning so much with her and she's a great horse for this. She has tons of go and endurance naturally and when I'm a good leader, she'll never quit me. I'm lucky. She's a champ.