We've been getting scattered showers, so the arena was watered well enough for a proper schooling this morning – yay!
Since the mechanical horse clinic a week, I have been trying to implement things I learned there. One of the most beneficial has been using Lance's warm-up walk to warm up and stretch my own legs, specifically my hip flexors. While insisting on an energetic walk from Lance, I let my legs swing along, out of the stirrups. Then I start stretching them back, both one at a time and together, as well as lifting my legs off his sides. After at least 10 minutes of this, I stop Lance, rest my hands on his crest with elbows out to the side, and do a "cat stretch" of my lower back. I think these warm-up stretches allow me to be a much more connected, effective rider once I pick up the reins and put Lance to work.
And work nicely he did today. I had to deal with a couple little issues during our ride, and while he responded very well to my corrections, they seemed to surprise him a bit. Made me think that I need to be more intentional and less relaxed during our trail/road hacks. Perhaps my being too relaxed gives his mind less to focus on from me, allowing it to look for and focus on possible threats.
Tomorrow afternoon, three of us are going to DevonWood for back-to-back-to-back lessons on Amerika. I look forward to learning a lot more from Jessica during all three of our "rides"!
ETA: So glad I got out and rode this morning; it's raining again!