Balance, balance, balance: between forward and supple, between solid in my aids and position and soft and forgiving, and of course the good old-fashioned kind.
Some nice moments, but overall inconsistent. We touched on consistency a few weeks ago, and haven't climbed back up that mountain. He'll swing and get soft and round...and then fling his head up and lose it five minutes later. I'll lock in with my seat and have soft hands...and then he'll jut his shoulders out and I'll get a bit out and it spirals down from there and ends up with a rock-hard and static left rein.
I'm fighting some unevenness in my own body right now, too. There's something slightly odd going on with my left hip that I need to overcome that's making it more difficult to keep my left leg really wrapped around. I can't quite nail the feel of a solid outside rein while tracking left.
In all? Productive lesson. Good lesson. Once again more proof that if I could just ride, if I could just be in the right place and give the right aids, he would be going so well, but when I break up my own fluidity it just...disintegrates. It's like juggling fifteen fresh eggs and as soon as I drop one the rest go splat, and then I have to walk all the way back to the fridge and start the juggling routine again, one egg at a time, before we approach that level again.
Tuesday night was my last ride for nearly 2.5 weeks; I'm away for two weeks for a long-awaited and long-planned-for vacation. I arranged for the best barn kid ever (which could so honestly apply to half a dozen kids at our barn, which is amazing) to sit on him during that time, and deeded over my two missed lessons to her. Probably I'm going to have to eat crow when I come back and she's improved him dramatically in just two weeks, but - I'm okay with that.
When we get back, life starts to fly fast and furious: XC again at Scarlet Hill, followed by Valinor at Elementary, followed in short order by King Oak. Home stretch!