I had a lesson today at Penny's with my trainer, Jutta Lee. The last lesson I had was just before Vermont Dressage Days in August. Things had started to deteriorate with Thomas then, and right after the show he got the stick in his foot and things got really bad. The high point of my day was that Jutta agreed that Tom is moving better than he was over the summer. He's not very strong right now (due to the nearly 4 months off), but he's happy, moving forward and willing. Yay!
We spent most of the session trying to get me NOT to use my calves so much. "Abs! Use your abs!" Guess I better start doing some crunches... Tom is such a good teacher. Every time I'd stop pushing with my legs and just concentrate on my middle, he'd zoom ahead. By the end he was trotting along , really swinging, and very stretched over his topline. We cantered a couple of times and to the left he broke into trot several times. It's strange. He doesn't lose his balance and run into trot; he just sort of breaks the canter rhythm and then we're trotting. I can pop him right back into the canter, no problem. Jutta says it's just a strength thing and that it's better to not make a fuss about the breaking. He's staying forward and he's willing to go right back into canter, so it should get better as he gets stronger. He's fine in canter to the right.
It's supposed to go down to 8° tonight. I think I'll wait for high noon tomorrow to ride. Feels more like January than December right now!