I have been having a really fun time working together this puzzle. It never fails that everyday I spend with my horse I learn something. Be it something frustrating or something happy, either way its constructive, if I only allow myself to see every learning situation that way.
I worked Milo again today and was having an amazing ride. I felt so right in my body, and he was so correct in his (granted, he still wants to go out the left shoulder, and there were a few moments of not perfection, but the moments (many) when we were connected - WOW!), everything was just making sense. We even got a cadenced and fluid turnaround to the right - the hock that he nearly refuses to plant into the dirt. But for some reason today, he held it strong for two revolutions - never moving it and pivoting around with some speed. I was so happy I took a picture of the tracks in the dirt and had to send it to Sarah.
A fellow boarder and good friend was riding her mount while I was and she and I talked about transitions. She follows principles of dressage and we always have an educational time bouncing ideas off of each other, this morning was no exception. I talked with her about the less is more concept going into the lope, and she bounced the same idea to me on the downward transition - one we both struggle with. She picked up a concept from a well-known dressage book and offered the idea to her trainer as well who recommended trying it. It was just to move the outside leg from C back to B at the downward transition, supplemented with a half halt. It was amazing to watch her school her big Warmblood with this "cue" and I thought it wouldnt hurt to try with Milo, as we struggle over the downward lope transition as well.
I found that it isnt so much just bringing the outside leg forward, but combining that with the half halt - at the correct time. It simply wasnt just the leg, but the whole dynamic (as usual): to stay strong in my core, soft at the back, lifted at the sternum and in my seat offering Milo to come up into the tack, and to stay steady with the connection on the rein as well. We had some nice transitions, up and down. And the lope work - consistent! And fluid! And without speed changes through straight lines or corners! A good ride. Lots to keep thinking about. I like this puzzle.