I had a lesson last night. Miro was a bit put out to be riding so late, but it's character building
The good news is that he is trucking along and the canter is already much improved. We actually showed a legit lengthening in the canter, not just legs churning! We were in the indoor arena, and he has a tendency to be a bit behind me in there, so that he was able to show that in there was a plus. Overall, he just feels much more correct in the canter.
Andrea got on him and she tooled around a bit, basically said there are some things she wanted to address, but really no big deal. So, instead, she wanted him to feel as good as she could get him so that I could get back on to see if there was a difference in feel. Of course, there was… So, she was laughing at me and recounting the arguments and pleading with Paul (some of which I remember witnessing) to explain exactly how he got the horse to feel that way. I have been echoing similar demands of "tell me how you did it, and what did you to to achieve this", but that unfortunately, you can’t really explain it, because it's a lot of timing and feel involved, and that I'll get there eventually.
So, when I got back on in the trot, I was describing to her what I felt was different (not profoundly different, just… better) It was as if he’s more lifted in shoulders, and I feel like I’m sitting on and riding his HQ not his back if that makes sense.
She did tell me that she made sure that he was yielding laterally (which I do) and then she gets after his hind (which I do) but that there is a timing thing… I have a tendency to hold a half second too long… which curls him. She holds and lets go and the timing is impeccable, so the option that is available to him is to tip the balance back and go up in the shoulders. I watched her very closely, and he didn’t curl at all with her.
She said she uses her back so that it feels like the longe line exercise - where the line is behind your hips and if the horse pulls, you resist with your back and core - so when the horse lets go, you don't fall back... so you take the rein right into the back as the hold - not the hands (which in theory I know, but wasn't executing) Omg. I came around and was experimenting and he suddenly grew taller and boom. And she was like what did you do what did you do!!! that’s exactly it!!!! Of course, I have no idea lol. But, I'll see if I can get close to it.