With the new baby born yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to provide an update regarding my contact issues. I had another lesson in between the rain drops and we set up the cones like at my last lesson. Riding with my eyes closed seemed to really have helped because this time, I didn’t have as many problems and never left the ring once because I couldn’t turn.
So, what did I figure out? That bent correctly does not feel like I thought it did. What I thought was correctly bent was really PJ overbent in his neck. Really correctly moving off of his inside hind leg into even contact felt like a board. Maybe as I get better at it, it will feel different but for now, that’s what correct feels like to me.
We did have an issue with our canter departs. He bucked into the depart. Barbara thought it was because I didn’t set him up correctly, so he didn’t pick up the canter right away, which threw me off balance, so I didn’t give him his head, which annoyed him because he was still trying to canter off. To fix it, I need to sit back (I fell forward too) and give my reins even though it feels like PJ took over control. Unfortunately, it will be a couple of days before I can try this again. I’m afraid that I will create a problem if I continue to do it wrong and would like to practice during a lesson, but my schedule has changed, so a lesson may not be possible for a while. I’ll try once on my own and if it still doesn’t work, I’ll wait to canter until I can ride in front of Barbara.