I started off today by lunging Boomer at the w/t/c with the elastic rein on. Karin was in the arena working her 3 year old stallion and gave me a little feedback. She pretty much told me to get him up in to the canter and just keep him there until he starts to relax his top line and give at the poll. It took a little while, but he did try to drop down for a stride at a time, if infrequently. Though, when he would try to drop his poll he would sort of come undone in the back end and almost scramble for a stride. To the left he was much better and could relax down for a few strides at a time.
I got on to ride and Boomer was very good from the start. I really focused on a few things: toes forward, elbows back, and use the whole arena. I tend to lap the middle and not use the rail or corners (bad rider). Things went well, Boomer was a little resistant at first but worked out of it pretty quickly at the trot. I started working on canter transitions as soon as we were warmed up. I think I got 5 to the left and really focused on using his post canter energy to really wake up his trot. It felt awesome! To the right the first time I asked, I just booted him hard and made him jump into the canter before he had a chance to death trot around. After that he seemed more eager to pick it up right away and I got two really good transitions in a row and called it a day! He really did try and I could really feel him soften for the third transition to the right. After that I just let him trot a few more laps and then cooled out on the buckle.
I was very pleased with the progress today and really feel that the issue is mostly balance and not knowing exactly what to do or if he even physically can do what I am asking for. I think that lunging with the elastic rein will be an integral part of him finding his balance before carrying me.