No pics or video again - JC's areana has windows up high that cast a glare. My husband said he could not even see us when we would get to the far end of the arena.
I had a chance to briefly warm up Riva before JC got in to begin teaching. I w/t/c to the right and she was forward and willing - switched to the left and everything slowed down and her canter got hoppy. This was good as she does this at home and gave me a clear idea of how to answer JC when she asked how we had been doing.
JC addressed the lack of forward to the left by backing up my leg with a lunge whip from the ground. She would have me halt on the rail, barely breathe on her with my leg on to ask for trot and then she would tag Riva with the lunge whip. It only took twice for Riva to get it and step right in to a forward trot when I asked. We did the same with canter - when JC would tell to quietly ask for canter, she would tag Riva with the lunge whip. I believe that only took once before Riva understood.
After we had forward established in both directions, we worked on leg yield. JC would have me turn up the centerline and begin leg yielding by first pointing Riva's nose at the leg we were going toward (establish our line), then ask for bend, then put leg on to move her haunches. I liked the 3 steps and Riva really understood what I was asking for. When we would arrive at the letter we were leg yielding to, JC had me trot a 10 meter circle - with 3 steps of staight at the top of the circle.
We also worked on trot lenghenings and extended canter. I don't know how I will ever sit Riva's extended trot - lucky for me that is a few levels away! The extended canter was a blast especially to the right. I felt for the first time, Riva's power coming from the back end instead of her just driving with her front legs. We even did a few 20 meter circles at an extended canter.
Needless to say, Riva and I were both exhausted by the end of our lesson and she did not take much convincing to get back on the trailer to head home.
Pic from last September
Also - Today is Alexis's 19th birthday! We are heading out tonight to TFI Fridays, her favorite, to celebrate. Last year's 18th, she was in Florida with JC. It was hard to be away from her on her birthday, but JC made sure she had a party complete with cake and presents. Will be nice to be with her this year!
Baby Alexis with her first horse :)