I had a terrific lesson on Rhythm tonight. Not only was it the absolute best ride I have had on Rhythm but it was overall a very good lesson. I have been riding Rhythm here and there for a couple of months and the first few rides and lesson he was so hard! He's a really big strong horse and would really drag you around if you let him. It sounds so strange since they are obviously carrying you around when you ride them...but this is different. My trainer and his owner have being working diligently with him and I rode him again a couple of times this week. Monday was my first day back on him and he was awesome. Much easier to ride than the previous times.
Tonight I took a lesson on him and he was super duper good. He is not being resistant and strong like he previously was. We rode outside and worked on really getting his hind end engaged and then getting him rounder and deeper on my outside rein. Once I had him engaged we also worked to slow him down to an engaged but slower gait. We did some spiraling in and out on a circle to get him bending and stepping across with his inside hind. We also worked on our canter transitions as early this week I had some where I really felt like he was dragging me into the canter. The key (I learned tonight) is to have a really engaged forward trot before asking him to move into the canter. I didn't feel like he was really slow on the days that I was having problems but I think he was just not engaged as well to be able to push off into the canter. We also worked on lengthening and then collecting his strides at the canter. It took some very strong half halts to get him back after the lengthening but I did actually get some nice strides of collected canter, and then focused on 3 half halts before transitioning to the trot. Overall, it was a really challenging lesson but so much fun to be on a willing partner. We didn't spend any time fighting over how I wanted him to go and that was really cool. Tomorrow night he gets a break for being such a good boy and we are heading out on a trail ride with Tarra and Mystic.