So, over the weekendMD held a clinic here in the Houston area. Again, I realize that I have a long, long way to go.
On saturday, I rode RC. As it turns out, just lengthening his neck to get a nicer canter is not enough to get a nice dresage canter. But sitting him down for a few strides to engage his stifle and fetlock and every joint in between worked wonders. He sat down far enough so that he actually stood on his own tail bag (never fear, no tail hairs were harmed!) and pulled it out. His trot work was amazing, right from the start. MD and I got it slowed down and more engaged then did some shoulder-in, ten meter circles and half-passeswhich earned us the ellusive "Perfect!". Yay! My little dressage quarter horse is going to conquer all this year! Or, maybe more realisticly, second level.
London was the first to go of the Crew. He showed the most improvement since the last clinc (I know, thats not enitrely fair since RC had a whole summer's work with Martha). MD actually LIKED him this time. Evidently it's not all me (some of it is me) that causes him to think that collection=short. So after a breif wrestling match which resulted in sore calfs and arms, I was able to convince him to work with his shoulders UP. And when he decided that was OK, his work felt AMAZING. Day two was even better. On the second day I worked on collecting the canter and getting more jump in the working canter (use that huge butt). Again, with the shoulders. Now I know of his ability I suppose that means I need to school harder... darn.
And finally, Deli. Deli had a thirty minute lesson with martha. We worked on not running/falling through her right shoulder. One sided? Maybe. Even though she had a little temper tantrum near the end, she was really very very good for this being her first time out. She was quite look-y on the lunge and very nervous when taken out of the trailer, but she tied next to the trailer with no problem, and once lunged (working lunged, not running around like a moron lunged) she settled own to work... She was so adorable!!!! (Even if she had a little temper tantrum)