I had a great lesson on Rhythm last night. I have arranged to ride him on Tuesday's and Thursday's with my lesson normally being on Thursday. It was nice to be able to put a ride in on Tuesday so that I was ready for me Thursday lesson. His owner has her lesson on Wednesday night so Rhythm gets 2 nights of supervised work in a row. He was really good in my lesson and I am amazed at the progress he has made over the last few months. We went back to many of the same things we did last week, adjusting the canter and traver. In the counter canter we played around with uberstriken and actually had some very nice moments where I held him on me seat and legs while giving my hands away. I also found out that I was holding too strong in my half-halts to collect the canter and caused him to break gait a few times. I need to keep working on that. We also introduced the start of half pass, walk to canter transitions, and counter canter. It is definitely all in a fairly rough stage but it is cool to be able to step up his training. I felt like I did a much better job in the traver of getting me body in a more correct position. I still really need to be working on my core and sitting up tall as that is where my strength is coming from. Riding dressage requires so much physical (and mental) strength. I worked on my leg position specifically on Tuesday and we worked on it more last night. They are improving. Now I need to work on being more active with them, particularly at the sitting trot. I have a much harder time using them well while I am sitting. As I was cooling out last night I was thinking about why my leg is not as active as it should be. I think it mostly comes from years of riding young/green horses who didn't accept my leg. Instead of using it anyway I just learned to ride very "tactfully" and keep my legs off and quiet. Thankfully Rhythm doesn't mind your leg at all so at least he is not re-in-forcing that bad habit. We are still a work in progress but at least I am seeing improvements and learning a lot along the way.
In other news, I donated blood today and was shocked to learn that they use a 16 gauge needle for it. I don't even use a 16g needle on my horse!!! I'm sure they use it to make it go faster and as it was, it didn't take all that long, but still.