I think even trainer Leslie was a little shocked at how good Willow was tonight. We started off with lots of bendy work in walk, shoulder in to diagonal to shoulder in, shoulder in to travers, etc. Then we worked for awhile on travers on a fifteen-meter circle in walk. Willow seemed really interested in the exercises. Her ears were very flippy-floppy.
Then we worked on trot mediums for a bit, asking for medium halfway down the long side, half halt to collection for a few strides, then medium again for the rest of the long side. I switched to sitting trot, and Leslie commented how much better that was looking.
Next we schooled trot-canter-trot, and the canter departs were effortless. We're starting to focus on really collecting the canter, and the main thing I need to remember is to maintain the quickness in the hind legs. We also did the same medium/half halt/medium exercise in the canter, and while it wasn't bad, it definitely needs work.
Finally, we worked on canter-walk transitions. Leslie had us canter on a twenty-meter circle, then canter a ten-meter circle from the point on the wall, and then ask for walk as we approached the wall on the small circle. Willow nailed the walk the first and third time we tried it, so we fussed over her and quit for the evening. Good mare!
Willow's focus and work ethic are phenomenal lately. It's very encouraging. She gets tomorrow night off as I go see the Cherry Poppin' Daddies play at DaVinci Days in Corvallis. Then it's back to work on Saturday!