When the student is ready - the teacher appears...
Unfortunately our Saturday beach ride was postponed due to a vehicle breakdown and bad weather. Despite the iffy weather we did manage a longeing session. Val had a different idea about what was on the agenda for the day however... A "phone lesson" after the fact from my trainer, helped remind me that I should start on a smaller circle, gradually increasing the size, and must keep Val looking in (look this way) to avoid him taking the line and running out. She also confirmed that my response to his noncompliance - making him work in hand twice as much as I had planned to longe - resolved our session successfully and kept Val from concluding that he might avoid work by misbehaving.
This afternoon we had a very productive ride. At some point I realized that Val and I have been systematically addressing all of the basics (that I thought I knew). Today, in regards to turning, I was reminded that although I want to "leave the door open" with the inside rein, I cannot abdicate contact entirely... and it must be even and elastic - through the elbows. As soon as I achieved these qualities in my rein aides, we were turning on the forehand to beat the band.
Sometimes when I am really struggling with my challenges as a rider, Val turns and gives me a look as if to say "Won't it be great when you get your act together!!"