Tuesday had us focusing on cantering some cavaletti on a circle, and later on a line in either five or six strides. Prair was good. I still want to brace a bit before she goes over anything (poles, jumps, leaves..) but it turns out, when I don't, she's much more responsive (who knew).
Down the line it became very obvious that adding six was easy (EASY!) to the left, but a tad trickier to the right. She feels a bit stronger in my left rein to the right, and less.... squishy... in her back. It's subtle, but it's there and it has my "don't-be-hurt-again" antenna up.
Saturday we cantered some cavaletti again to warm up (again, easier to the left than right..) and it became apparent that my go-to strategy of "hold, hold, hold, ADD!" is not working for us. To the left I can feel her hind leg easier and am much more comfortable stepping up, but to the right I don't feel as connected and we end up leaving long or chipping regardless of how clever I think I'm being.
Then we moved to a (small) line trotting in and cantering out in 5. I got a little nervous, but I shouldn't have - N told me to "trust her to make a good decision" (LOL) and believe that she'd be good, rather than prepare for potential naughtiness. I tried, and even though I felt myself really wanting to brace my knee, Prair was a star and calmly loped down the line softer than I've ever felt her between fences.
I still asked her to halt in a straight line after each jump so we didn't even play the lead-change game or worry too much about rebalancing, so I don't want to hang too many victory banners yet but I can feel were we maybe might be someday when all this rehabbing is over.
And I like it.
We did the line both directions, the difference between the left and right leads were nonexistent (though we were traveling straight) and then we finished with a long canter across the diagonal to a small gate (very small), again halting in a straight line after.
All in all a good week and one that makes me feel like the 18" division at Thermal is doable... who knows, we might even flirt with 2' and 2'3" again!
It is nice to feel like we're riding again and I can get back to not being so paranoid about every little step.