There has been no doubt about the struggle bending left right from the beginning. I have been working on it to some degree, but it was never the major focus as Savvy was so green we were looking for forward resposiveness and basic yeilding to pressure (and I was really just happy with her feeling broke!). Now she is ready for a bit more attention to detail.
First correct bend, then shoulder in on a circle. I can see where we get
it correct a few seconds at a time, here and there!
Tracking left, Savvy will throw her weight in on her front left shoulder, try to tip her head out and avoid stepping under completely with her left hind. Tracking right, the left shoulder will bulge and she will over-bend to the inside.
It turns out correcting a bulging shoulder is a much easier fix than lifting a dropped shoulder. Ugh. I spent much of my lesson wishing we were tracking right so I could stop working so hard.
We are addressing it, bit by bit. I have to remember patience and kindness for my girl. Asking her to track left with straightness and balance is like asking a right-handed person to write an essay with their left hand.
One exercise I will be using is shoulder in on a 10-meter circle. This well help me to lift her shoulder and help Savvy develop the coordination required to use her weaker hind left by stepping under.
Shoulder in tracking right - may not look like much, but felt awesome after all the struggle trying to accomplish this going the other direction.
Once I was starting to get Savvy more balanced and bent correctly going right and then asked for the shoulder in, she literally could not stay at the trot. It was just too much for her to use her body differently and came down to a very clumsy walk through it. From past experience, when Savvy is faced with something new or complicated, her response is always to stop or slow down. She was really trying though. She definitely got extra cookies after this lesson.
Overall a great session with lots of little exercises to take home and work on.