Last weekend I had a lovely ride on Lucy. I love how easy it is to ride her when we are both fit.
We spent quite a bit of time at trot and canter. We cantered to the left first and she felt great. She was round and didn't rush at all. I was able to concentrate on following with my hands (I tend to be rigid and constrictive) and we were both very happy.
We took a walk break and then I changed direction. Lucy knew what was coming (CANTER!!!) and she was ready. We had to delay the transition a few times because as soon as I thought, "maybe after the corner," she was all Miss Anticipation. So I changed my mind and waited. And waited.
Finally, she stayed relaxed and I asked.
Um, Lucy, its not necessary to race around the court like its the Kentucky Derby or something. Slow down and relax.
But.... CANTER! We're cantering!
So, I took a firmer contact. And Lucy got pissed. She does not like to be held; she gets claustrophobic. So she got stronger. And so did I. My bad.
We came back to trot and I thought about how I was going to manage this. Then we went back to canter and I was careful to walk the line between contact and holding/ bracing with my hands. She was still trying to haul buns, but I used my core -- a tightening in my abs while sitting deep and tall -- to ask her to slow the heck down. She complied and we had some very nice canter. Finally.
I need to trust Lucy and follow. She does listen to my core and my seat. I just have to remember that; and trust.