I had a really great lesson yesterday, and, even more exciting, my mother was able to come and take video!
It was raining and 40°, but Pluto was absolutely perfect! I could feel my toes for the first ride in weeks, so maybe he was warm enough to feel his hooves and that made him happier. We began with trotting just working on a going forward and coming from behind. We then added circles and worked on letting them really stretch to both sides. We carried that over to our canter work and worked on bigger bends and more subtle bends in circles and keeping their bodies straight on the long sides of the ring.
We began our jumping work by cantering a pole that was five strides to a small vertical. It was set comfortably, so the first time we go to the vertical a little early. Our second time, we were able to even it out. We then added a second vertical seven bending strides away followed by a right turn back to the five-stride.
We added a forward five stride across the diagonal back to the broken seven-stride to the five-stride. The only hiccup was that we accidentally did six in the seven (oops!). I knew getting him back from the diagonal would be hard, but I didn’t ask quite hard enough. The next time we were able to smooth the last line out and I put more bend in the line, which helped it work out nicer.
I also worked to be more disciplined during my downward transitions, because that helps us develop the important muscles to have beautiful lead changes. I love to pick up my heels and keep my arms straight when I halt, but then Pluto likes to keep pulling through the halt. When I sit in the saddle with correct equitation, Pluto is noticeably softer.