I LOVE TAKING LESSONS. Seriously, good lessons rock. I hate not taking regular lessons but I just can't afford it every week. But, present to myself, I took another lesson with KB on Tux and it was another great lesson where I learned a lot.
I haven't ridden Tux as much as I would have liked since our last lesson at the beginning of December, but Tux's straightness really has improved despite that, though I was afraid it wouldn't show and we'd have to work on that again :)
When KB asked what I wanted to work on for this lesson I said lengthenings. I just needed some better tools for how to teach him to carry himself as it's pretty hit or miss - half the time he carries him self and has some beautiful reach and loftiness, then the other half he falls on his face.
KB had me work on a large circle so that there would be no corners or places that he had to change his balance. She had me do transitions within the trot going from a shorter, smaller (slightly collected) trot to a working trot to a big trot then back again. This way he learns to power from behind. Tux was really fussy today for some reason. He doesn't root the reins but he drops contact and tosses his head - just his way of voicing his displeasure without being overtly "bad" persay... I think he was just grumpy from having to work so hard since he usually doesn't get so sassy over collecting the trot.
Best moment - when KB commented that he was wanting to offer passage steps coming out of the collected trot and that she could easily see him doing piaffe/passage in his future. Yay! Medium gaits might be more difficult for him because he doesn't have the same suspension as a warmblood but I really think that with the right training he could do moderately well up to third level.
We did the same in the canter though I was slowly losing engine power. Amazing how fast he loses fitness when not being worked. Attitude-wise he's the kind of horse you could leave in the pasture for a month and he'd be exactly the same as you left him a month ago, but fitness-wise he needs a regimen. We got some nice steps of a smaller canter, but I need to ask for fewer big canter strides and in all speeds keep reminding him to carry more weight on his hind end.
After cantering we finished up with some turns on the haunches which he does so well. Just need to focus on short, active walk strides but at this point he had pretty much mentally checked out so he just got some big pats and a scratch from KB.
This weekend - lots of riding for Tux and another body clip! Poor guy was dying in the relative heat of 50 degrees today and there is absolutely no evidence that he has already been clipped once.
And keeping with the theme of lessons. We have one possible one with KO (eventing trainer) this weekend, but I'm not 100% sure yet, one with TS (my other favorite dressage person) on the 20th, another with KB on the 26th, then in February one on the 10th with KB. All of these will be with Jetta and the dressage ones are all paid by the dressage team, yipee!!!