Last night was day 2 of Gavin's April training.
Glenda started off riding him. He was a little bit testy at first, but settled in to work pretty quickly, including two pretty nice right-lead canter departs with a few "oh my god his canter is gorgeous" strides. Glenda felt sure after getting those strides that mechanically there is nothing wrong, or hindering him from cantering (this is good news!). She also worked A LOT on the straight, and after a few halt/no seriously WOAH/NO SERIOUSLY WOAH/now back-up run throughs he was trotting along looking like the sport pony that I know he is, and going a reasonable rate of speed. It was at that moment watching him that I was at my proudest pony-mom of the night.
So then I hopped on! I'm pretty sure Gavin thought he was done because he seemed pretty pissed about me putting leg on at all (twirling tail, kicked out a couple times). I decided that I couldn't have the "mommy complex" with him and continued to urge him forward (urge = nice word for a smack and more leg). At that point he seemed resigned to work for me (yay me!). We did some leg-yielding at the walk to make sure he was moving off my legs; I was amazed at how responsive he was, and the amount of cross-over he could make. Then we started trot work. I felt like it started off pretty well. I am trying to be looser with my body (more dynamic in what movements I make - I tend to take a position and stick to it - like one of those statue-poser people, except I get yelled at, not paid for it).
We worked on serpentines, which felt nice to me, but my trainer clearly was not thrilled with the amount of inside leg, outside rein action going on (MORE INSIDE LEG, MORE OUTSIDE REIN). Then we moved on to working on the straight. It was nice. He didn't feel like he was performing in the trot derby. I got told on repeat for about 4 or 5 times around the arena outside rein, inside leg, outside rein, inside leg, outside rein, inside leg. As I've said before, in my head I feel like these thoughts are being processed into actions, but I didn't see the results I was looking for until I was willing to get BIGGER with these changes. I bent my elbow more and moved my outside hand a little bit away from his neck. And then he was like a dream. Just soft in the jaw, and moving forward (but not crazy forward). It felt great! And the awesome thing about my trainer is that when I'm bad - she isn't happy, but when I'm good - she is REALLY happy. So I definitely knew that what I was doing was correct.
We ended on that note. Gavin seemed happy, Glenda seemed happy, and I was happy. :)
Gavin got ridden today, but I'm at work, so sadly I didn't get to see it (though I should be hearing about it shortly!) and tomorrow I have a full blown lesson.
Inside leg, outside rein, inside leg, outside rein, inside leg, outside rein. :) :) :)