Dressage with the TWH is coming along pretty well, his transition into the trot is perfect with plenty of impulsion and suspension. His trot is swinging with decent suspension. His free walk is low and loose. His trot to canter transitions are amazing with lots of roundness and they even start from his hind end. The only real issues we still have is the canter being a panter, which we probably won't ever fix, and the one to two steps of pace before he picks up a trot in the down transition. Overall not bad!
I have had 2 lessons since I updated last and they both went pretty well. H is very happy and impressed with the TWH's progress considering just a few months ago we couldn't get a true trot let alone a canter/trot transition. She is very happy with my position and she only mentioned anything about my wide hands only once in my last lesson. ONCE!!! Progress indeed.
Our last lesson focused mostly on the canter to trot transition and trying to sharpen it up. H had us canter a circle and break into a trot about 8 feet in front of a trot pole, hoping that it would force the TWH into a trot. Despite trying it several times, the single pole simply accentuated the fact he was pacing and made him delay the trot by up to a quarter of a circle. Since I had taught him to trot over multiple poles I suggested putting 2 or 3 poles down. Two poles was the magic number, if I asked for the down transition about a stride away from the poles half of the time he broke from a canter into a true trot with no pace steps. Yay! We can use it as a helper although a little more consistency would help though as the times he doesn't go into a trot he instead would fall completely apart and have a hard time pulling a trot together at all. H said it is like teaching him to dance, he doesn't know how to really trot, we just taught him the steps. He obviously doesn't know how to truly canter but we taught him the footfalls. He doesn't know how to give the down transition so we are re-teaching him the steps. He is so frustratingly ambidextrous but she sees him as a fun challenge.
When we haven't been working on dressage we have been instead working on our two point. After my last lesson H and I agreed that there isn't too much more we can do with him in dressage. At least in my little arena with at least a third being out of commission with hay storage and now a big sinkhole that formed as a result of the flooding I had. Since my first show is May 5th I figured I need to get to jumping so two point here I come! I am, however, taking it easier than I did last year, where I ended up tearing my calf muscle by doing two point too aggressively. A nice warm up with some standing two point is followed with several laps of two point at a trot and canter before I "go for the glory" and see how long I last in two point. The first time I rode I was able to get about a minute and a half in two point. The second time I was really upbeat and excited about how long I was lasting in two point! Before I realized I made it only 2 minutes. The crushed look on my face made my friend laugh, I thought I had done so much better! When I rode on Wednesday I was finally able to make it to 3 mins 10 seconds. I have only had 3 rides of two point so as long as I keep this pace up I should be jumping next week!