So apparently, how you sit on a horse really affects how your horse moves! I haven't realized before how super sensitive Vallu is to my seat and posture. It's actually pretty scary how much my seat influences how he moves.
Last Friday I had my second lesson with Sanna and like last time two weeks ago, we focussed on my seat and how I can use it to to straighten Vallu, make him move bigger and better. The difference from the beginning of the lesson to the end of the lesson was enormous, and it was great to hear how much we had progressed on our own in only two weeks. Although I'm really happy with how the lesson went and everything that Sanna said, I've got to admit that the best part of it was at the end when we were finished! Not because the lesson was over, but because Vallu felt so happy. Probably the best feeling in life is when your horse is happy to be working with you. I'll cherish that feeling for a very, very long time.
I still have two things to remember constantly whilst I'm riding:
1. My hips have to move in the correct direction
2. Grow upwards from the middle
One of my biggest problems / greatest weakness with Vallu is how to get him to become truly on the bit and round and fully through. He likes to be just slightly not on the bit, but it's hardly noticeable even though you can feel it really well. Since he has a big fat neck, it doesn't even look too bad. But in order for us to progress and get to practice the higher level movements properly, Vallu has to be properly through, and moving through his back. The way to get him to do this is by working on the basics, and getting Vallu to stay between my two reins.
By getting a strong but elastic outside rein, and making sure that Vallu isn't leaning against it, it's easy to get Vallu to become rounder in the neck. Once he feels good like this, a slight flex to the inside will get him straighter in the neck, and softer on the inside rein. I have been working on this since last Friday, and yesterday Vallu was really round and good straight from the beginning! I'm really looking forward to my last lesson with Sanna on Vallu tomorrow. Today I have a lesson with her on Rama, and we're going to work on how to ride through my test!