There's nothing quite a Brooksby encouragement to help you get your brave pants on! :D "Stop riding like a fairy and get on with it" has now become my absolute new favourite. It's all about being an effective rider, because if I don't ask properly Vallu won't give 100% especially if I am feeling a bit nervous.
I was warming up whilst Lili was teaching someone else, so I ended up just doing trot and canter on both reins on the 3/4 line whilst focusing on turning in the corners all by outside rein and outside leg to get control of Vallu's outside shoulder. Once Lili had finished the previous lesson she watched us for a bit and then said that Vallu looked a lot better this week compared to our last lesson, a lot more supple, loose and just generally happier in his way of moving.
I had several 'everything clicked and suddenly made sense' moments during the lesson. Firstly, in the shoulder-in I can't let Vallu go 'too deep' with too much flexion because it blocks his legs from moving as well as he can. When I don't ask him to go too deep it feels so easy and flows so much better.
In the canter, we did our first set of tempis since the summer, and gosh I cannot count to four anymore! Lili ended up making me count one two three four out loud until I managed four good fours down the long side :D We did the flying changes down the long side to get some help from the wall to keep us straighter, and amazingly when I keep my hands still they're a lot better ;) Funny that.