I am recycling old images because I am terrible at remembering media
So, after much pondering and getting my ducks in a row. I FINALLY got a virtual lesson scheduled with Trainer J. I do appreciate the Pivo and the fact that the pandemic has increased the popularity of virtual lessons, because otherwise I would still be floundering.
I had never ridden with J, but I had met her in person and I had briefly seen her teaching style and I was pretty sure that my brain would click with her instruction. But you never truly know until you try it. We chatted for a few minutes so she could get a better feel for where I am at and where Karma is at and what we are hoping to achieve.
We started trotting a few circles and I have been feeling inconsistencies that I have been chalking up to green horse, balance issues, contact issues, and out of shape rider. Trainer J immediately identified that Karma was stepping short and stabbing behind. So I hopped off, pulled the saddle, checked along her spine for any soreness. Then we methodically started testing things for the cause. There was a tiny bit of soreness at the end of the panels (which are out of balance and my new ones arrive tomorrow).
J asked if I had a lunge, I was worried I would lose audio if I ran up to my car to grab it so I went with the short answer of no, but I can make one. And proceeded to use a combo of the lead rope and reins to make myself a lunge #keepingitclassyfortheGPtrainer. Thankfully Karma trotted lovely both directions which pretty much ruled out stifles and SI (thank god. I would cry if I had another young horse prone to SI issues).
When I put the saddle back on, she was a tiny bit short traveling to the left. Then J started looking at her butt and sure enough the left side isn't quite as developed as the right. The conclusion we both felt comfortable with is that Karma needs some body work, but in the mean time I can work on balancing her out and keep forcing her to push with that left hind.
By thinking haunches to the left and alternating diagonals we able to get her trotting much more consistently by the end. It felt so good to have a lesson again. And as an added bonus I got to hear someone else say how darling Karma is.