(Lesson with Bailey Cook.)
Started with a stretchy, forward warmup. We rode large figures to let him get loose and forward, even though he was a bit flat.
As he warmed up we gradually asked for more bend, flexion, and engagement of his hind end.
The bulk of the lesson was focused on some lateral work.
We started with leg-yield head to wall, but on the quarter line. Then we moved into shoulder fore. We would start shoulder fore, and then move it forward onto a diagonal line and let the line of travel move from near the wall to near the center-line.
Being able to move the line, while staying in positioning kept me accountable for truly having him in the outside rein and for the hind legs staying under.
Also, I need to get better at using my seat and thigh first, before going to my lower leg. When I would have him in positioning, move him forward across the diagonal, then make it back to positioning, it was mostly in my seat and thighs, rather than my lower leg. Encore (and probably most horses) tend to step their hind legs away from your lower leg so you need to be careful with putting too much pressure on one-sided.
Encore and I tend to be more in leg-yield than true shoulder in when we stay close to the wall and I use my lower leg too much. I realized that by moving the shoulder fore line, it was clear, if he was around my inside leg more, or just leg-yielding.
Bailey said one time, leg-yielding moves the hind legs, shoulder in brings the front end around. It’s easy to slip into a leg-yield, rather than honestly bringing their shoulders up and in, so they have to sit on their inside hind.
To get a good leg-yield score in a test, I need to be able to start the movement in a good, honest shoulder fore and then let him move the line in leg-yield, rather than just falling sideways in leg yield.