I have a lesson journal, but decided to type my notes-to-self here. Mostly it is the act of writing/typing them out that helps stick them in my mind anyway. I'll include some explanatory notes in parentheses after some of my notes; feel free to ask about any of them or comment.
~~~~~~~~~~~ NOTES ~~~~~~~~~~~
Stay with his mouth (Larry wants to curl behind the vertical or play giraffe sometimes, and I need to keep contact with his mouth whatever he does. The curling is a tough problem to fix, but after three lessons I'm already seeing a lot of progress, thanks to Julie encouraging me to shorten my reins and take more contact. He won't be able to work correctly on a longer rein until he gets stronger.)
Ask for the stretch (Given all that I said in the prior paragraph, I still need to encourage Larry to open his neck and stretch out in front of the withers, while not letting him curl or dive.)
Transitions, transitions, transitions (Walk-trot, trot-walk, trot-canter, canter-trot, walk-halt - in all of them work to keep proper contact, thinking forward, round, and properly bent on the circle. A slight leg-yield to the outside is often beneficial. If the transition isn't satisfactory, bring him back and do it again. Good transitions can only happen from good gaits. Don't let the energy die in the downward transitions.)
Keep right leg ON and put weight in right stirrup (Going right is Larry's "problem direction," and as a result, I tend to use my lower calf a lot which draws my leg up. I need to use my upper calf more, and remember to keep weight in my right stirrup.)
When changing direction through a half-figure-eight at the trot, control his haunches with my inside and outside legs
Always post on diagonal trot lengthenings
Working on a trot circle, alternate posting with a few steps sitting
Tuck my seat a bit and "sit on my pockets" (a challenge with my "bubble-butt"!)
Stay on the second track when cantering down the long sides; circle if he falls apart
Remember my "perfect bit" post? Well, look what came back to me! My friend Debbie has also been taking lessons with Julie, and had Julie school her mare one day. Julie's description of Debbie's mare in this lovely, but thick, bit? "Wet cement." So today after Debbie and I had back-to-back lessons, Julie suggested we swap bits, thinking that Debbie's mare may be lighter with the thinner mouthpiece I got from Laura and Larry may prefer the thicker mouthpiece of Debbie's bit. We'll see (I'm crossing my fingers!).