Walking forever and always
We finally had a lesson with S again and I talked to her about some of the things I have been struggling with. Number one is the shoulder in on the circle followed by my inability to keep him straight for more than a few strides in the trot. My favorite dressage judge was having us do shoulder in and haunches in on a circle to help break up the tension. It was working really well, then he figured out some new evasions and I forgot how to ride a shoulder in.
Riding not Stinker approved
I have always struggled with the shoulder in. I don't know why it doesn't make sense to my poor little brain, but I always get terribly discombobulated. As things fall apart, I tense and lock everything and try to shove parts around. It comes as a terrible shock that the lock up and shove method doesn't work. Stinker has discovered that it is far easier to let his haunches swing out and for the life of me I can't ride a circle, keep the haunches on the circle, and move the shoulder inward. I am 99% sure if I stop trying so damn hard and just ride everything will fall back into place, but I keep trying harder and harder and the wheels keep falling off more and more.
My current plan is to ignore it for a few days and then come back when I don't have myself in as many knots over it. Solid life solutions...ignore it and maybe it will magically fix itself.
One of our major problems with the trot, is I am not getting him straight enough and when he isn't straight he can't utilize his top line and then he hollows inverts and giraffes around. When I do manage to get him straight he is happy to stretch down. The problem is that is hard for him so he promptly finds new evasions. I swear I need about four extra legs to keep him straight. S thinks that with time and consistency it will get easier.
I went through similar phases in the walk, but for some reason it felt much easier to fix things in the walk. Oh wait maybe it is because everything is slower in the walk... I just need to keep plugging along and working on getting him to access his top line with me in the saddle.