I had the most fantastic day with Echo yesterday - it was one of those 'grin uncontrollably' moments. It wasn't because of anything specific, just the utter joy of being able to ride my horse.
I schooled her for about twenty minutes and as usual, she was very good. She was slightly lazy in the walk, but once we started trotting she was very forward going. I was working on what my instructor had told me to practise - changing the bend effectively and obediently. In walk she is excellent at this, and combined with some leg yielding, the exercise makes her very supple. We did have a very bizarre moment yesterday, however. She is normally better on the left rein, and so her right to left bend changes are better. Yesterday, I asked for the change of bend from right to left in trot as we came across the diagonal, but I must have asked her to change too abruptly, as she completely lost control of her front legs, got in a complete tangle and nearly fell over!
I don't completely know what happened; I may have shifted my weight to the left too early and unbalanced her. We came around again in trot and she was fine the next time. What is good, is that she is getting much better at changing the bend. When she is not falling over (!), she is much more flexible through her body. I am starting to ask for leg yielding in trot now, which I hope will teach her where her legs are a little bit! This is still in the early stages.
I then went out for a hack round the cross country course and she was so lovely to ride. We had a couple of trots, then as we were coming up a hill, I decided to ask for a canter. In the school, her canter transitions are quite laboured, but out hacking she springs into canter. She felt forward going, but completely controllable. I was dictating the speed entirely, and it was the best feeling ever. When we had got down to a walk again, I had to give her a huge hug. We have come such a long way in the two and a half months she has been broken-in. I never thought I would be hacking alone and cantering after such a short time.
I couldn't keep the smile off my face when I got back to the yard - my horse is amazing!