Today was an awesome ride! We started out walking for about 5 minutes on a long rein, then picked up and started doing some circles. I asked for a few leg yields in the circle, then asked for leg yields from the center line. Did some trotting and -BOY- was he moving out! It was incredible! We got that same big trot from the lesson on Thursday. He was light and round and springy! We went back to the walk and did some shoulder-in and leg yield against and away from the wall. Then we did some leg yielding at the trot, which was a little difficult, but he tried and never braced against the bit. We moved on to canter transitions and he did awesome! The trot/canters are solid. He keeps contact and stays round into and through the transition. I tried a few walk/canters because he was doing so awesome and the first two were messy, but he got it down after that! The canter/walk isn't there yet, he takes 4-6 trot strides. Something to work on for sure. I did a few fun simple changes through the diagonal, we cantered around the short side and through the diagonal then did a canter/walk/canter transition. We did like 4-5 of those in a row and he didn't get worked up or excited at all! SO SUPER EXCITED!!!! We did some more trot work after that and worked on turns and serpentines.
The work Karin and I have been doing is really helping to get Boomer 'electric' to my leg aids. She has me bump him with my leg (hard if needed), but hold him in the gait without allowing him to raise his head, THEN come again with my leg in the cue for whatever upward transition. I felt that has really sunk in today as he was responding off of a lighter leg. I started working on asking him to give to the bit/reaffirming he was there, then liven off my leg with either a gentle squeeze or a kick if he didn't react, then come again with my leg and ask for canter and BAM! he gave it up on the first stride every time. I talked to Karin about this and she laughed and said that is basically the half halt and that I got to it before she could introduce it in the next lesson! This is great news to me, because the half halt has always mystified me. Now that I have used it for a real reason, I understand it! Hooray function!