After a quick warm-up we moved right into trot work - with Val responding to nice light aids. I focused on balance in the corners, not leaning to the inside. Sitting straight and tall, even in my stirrups, and leading with the girls ;). Looking out through Val's ears - not down. Visualizing what I wanted to happen so that I almost didn't have to use my aids after a while. And soft following hands. Things were feeling pretty good, so I picked up quite a bit more contact than I have been lately, which Val loved. He responded by getting rounder and motoring forward using his cute little hind end.
Most of all - I focused on INSIDE LEG TO OUTSIDE REIN. Thinking of getting that tattooed on my wrist - not even kidding... ;)
We had the most fluid, connected trot work I've ever experienced outside of working with my trainer. I have been trying to improve my posting by loosening up my ankles, and letting them take the weight rather than posting off of the balls of my feet. The quality of the trot also seems to improve when I can accomplish this. We ended our trot fest with what felt like a super square halt and reinback, and did some beautiful turns on the forehand - on the buckle and no stirrups. I'm glad I finally figured out that doing walk work later on makes our sessions much more productive.
Saving the best for last - (can't get enough of Val's cute little whiskery muzzle)...
|Can you see it?! There was more before the cookies...|
And when really Val enjoys our ride, he grooms me while I clean tack. Love you too buddy!
|Yes - this was a hard shot to capture|
Thanks to our kind readers out there in blogland. You never fail to share your inspiration, knowledge, support, humor and friendship with us. I am so lucky to have found you all, and I am very, very grateful.
I hope you all have a great holiday, and get to spend some time with your family and your horses. I'm off to the kitchen - Happy Thanksgiving!!