Dressage lesson with Ville Vaurio: Forwards and sideways

Canter half pass
 So today's lesson was one of those lessons where everything was good, but nothing was great and nothing was even close to resembling perfection. Blergh, I can't really be dissapointed with the lesson, since I got lots of good moments, but I think because I've had so many amazing lessons in a row now that I'm expecting every single lesson to be like that. But Vallu looks very good in the photos, so I'm pleased :)
Trot shoulder-in
 Vallu was much better than I was expecting considering we have just changed his double bridle bit to a new thinner and shorter one, and this was only his second time wearing it. I just got a shocking  reminder in how sensitive this horse can be, because apparently changing a bit can be very dramatic?! It's thinner and shorter, and Vallu seems to be quite happy with the bit itself, but not so happy with the fact that something has changed. He feels softer and more quiet in the mouth with this new bit, so I'm hoping that he'll feel better about the change soon as well!
More shoulder-in

I love the light in this photo ♥︎
The lesson had a lot of transitions within paces and between paces, as well as shoulder-ins and half pass. I can't remember the last time that I've been this motivated to ride better, but at the same time utterly exhausted... It was a proper workout for both me and Vallu! We began with working on going forwards, so that on the long sides extended canter, and then collected canter on the short side. I know this sounds super easy, but to get your horse to gallop straight, collect at the end without having to brake with your reins, to be round and soft in the mouth is a lot harder than I knew.
Please excuse my right hand, it has problems! But LOOK AT VALLU'S LITTLE FACE!
This was followed by lots of shoulder-in and half pass in both trot and canter, and then some counter-canter. All of these different exercises were great for creating a soft, forward thinking and supple horse. Must do these more often! My new favourite exercise is shoulder-in along the long side, followed by half pass towards the centre line. It was lovely to feel the difference in Vallu after this exercise, and I must start doing it more often!

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