Dakota's situation has changed. His previous leaser, R, gave up the lease at the end of October. We will both miss her! R hooked us up with a possible new leaser, J, who rides Dakota very well. She has an extensive riding background in h/j with a sprinkling of dressage. J has taken a couple lessons from me that went great, and she has ridden Kota on her own a couple times. She has to have a medical procedure in a week that will keep her from riding for a month or more, but I think there's a good chance she'll pick up at least a half-lease as soon as she's able.
I've been riding Kota quite a bit, and he's just delightful. He's very sensitive and reacts honestly to everything the rider does. Shoulder in is very good, and travers is coming right along. I've started working on walk-canter-walk. He's starting to get the idea of lengthening the stride in trot. Canter lengthening is great! Canter in general has improved so much in the last few months.
I've been working hard on canter with Clair as well. The left lead has always been the weaker lead, so I've been doing my best to strengthen her on that side. We don't have a reliable flying change right to left yet (I'm sure that's due to my lack of experience putting in changes). On the plus side, the change left to right is basically confirmed! We need to improve our extensions in both trot and canter. Will we be ready to try to get our third level scores in April? Fingers crossed!