One advantage of riding in the bareback pad is that on days like this:
I can ride in shorts.
Today we played with the weave pattern and circles. We didn’t have the harmony of our past couple of sessions. We were both distracted by Scott and Lucky, which was great experience for me as I’m practicing focus, and I could feel when I lost River and it was usually because I lost focus on us and started paying attention to the others.
As the lesson progressed, I was able to stop paying attention to anyone but River. And sometimes Erin. I worked on being quieter in my body and lighter with my hands, especially lifting a rein instead of pulling it out to the side.
One of the things Erin brought up was to think about transitioning to the gait I wanted. Not thinking about “upward” or “downward” but rather think about “walk” whether I’m starting from a halt or from a trot. She said in the beginning we learn to sit (slump) down to stop, both for safety and for exaggerating to teach. Now that I’m starting to refine, I tried going from trotting in my body to walking in my body to trotting in my body, and River responded perfectly.