I was totally right about the trot not being forward enough in that last video I posted. Too much time passed between lessons and I got complacent. I keep settling for a "good enough" trot instead of digging down and pulling out what Willow really can do. I thought Willow's trot was feeling just super in my pre-lesson warmup yesterday, but then Leslie came in and was all, "Um, that's just pokey. More forward!" And of course she was right. The cool thing is, when Willow is really engaged, she gets very light in the hand. When she's leaning, of course it's just an indication that she's not engaged behind. Duh.
So we worked on forward in trot, and happily Willow cooperated. Right now our other bugaboo is that Willow wants to bulge her ribcage to the inside when we track left. And she's a big girl, so I have to find ways to finesse getting her to move it over -- there's no way I can muscle her into it. Leslie is very sympathetic about my struggles with this; her gelding is 17.2.
We worked on leg yielding for the last 15 minutes. When I turn down centerline, as soon as I straighten I've been dropping my driving inside leg. So we worked on fixing that, and the leg yields got big and flashy. We also worked on leg yield to small circle to straight to leg yield, in order to emphasize the outside rein.
It was a good lesson. If I can afford it, I might switch to lessons every week. I feel like we're making great progress, but I definitely can use the eyes on the ground.
Today I am doing laundry and mowing in preparation for my week-long trip, first to Texas to visit Wolfgang, Suzanne, and Ted, and then to Nebraska to visit family and friends. Texas promises sunshine and warm temps: hooray! Nebraska could be cold or warm this time of year.