Had another lesson yesterday. It was great.
I will admit I was a little discouraged, These horses are always humbling you. I knew from judges comments that we were not truely ready for second level last year but it takes swallowing pride to go back and work on the basics. Sometimes that is hard to do, but it is always worth it.
Yesterday I was finally seeing the payoff of going back to the basics. My Trainer said that we had real collection. (yes the thing that was really hard for us and we could never get, and Every single Judge said we didn't have enough of . to the point (this was a very depressing show) that a Judge commented that we did not show any collection worthy of Second Level.) So when my trainer said that, even though we were in the indoor I am pretty sure that the clouds parted the sun shone down and angels started singing in that moment.
And guess what, It was not that Whin was too long in the back or incapable of sitting on her haunches. It was quite simply that she was not forward enough and infront of the leg. I was continually trying to collect up energy that simply wasn't there.
Now this whole energy thing is very much a work in progress, but we are working on it. Same with my leg postion, My trainer said it is much better and that my leg is being much more effective now.
We worked on Canter halts to try to prevent Whin from falling on her forhand. At first Whin was a little upset and wanted to go backward but we just calmly and quietly asked her to halt, walk and canter. after a few times she understood what we wanted and did it very nicely.
I do have to work on keeping my right elbow bent and at my side to support her left shoulder.
And then we even got to work on a little shoulder in and haunches in to the left we kept drifting off the rail, to the right they were super easy not a change to the way Whin was going.
So I am very happy with the training program that we are in now, Whin is happier in her training than she has been in years and although we have had some humbling moments and will have more in the near future we are slowly crawling our way forwards.