The last couple of days have been the first that I've been able to really ride since school let out (thank you rain...), and I've put a lot of what I've learned and read up on over the winter into practice... and all I can say is WOW. I started by not even thinking about Scout and what he was doing, and just making a few laps and figure 8's to change directions just focusing on my position problems at the walk and trot. I put my stirrups down a hole and, would you believe it, my heels fell right down!! They still pop up on me a bit, but there was a lot less effort to keep them in place.
I've got a running chant in my head of what I need to have a good classical position, reminding myself to keep it, but when I'm going through my list, Scout's issues are gone!! His "runway" wall, where he always hollows and gains speed before motorcycling around the corner, becomes a steady, semi-rounding, respectful part of the rail. He has a nice, bouncing canter transition when my position is what I focus on! If I just start trying to back him up, he fusses... when I start really riding him back, I feel him lift and float back, much nicer. Perhaps the most surprising thing, even after only a couple of "illuminated" rides, if I loose my position, he loses his dramatically. The minute I get my position and balance back, he falls back into place!!
This only serves to solidify my growing understanding of really how much the rider can influence the horse. I do think I have a bit more of a saddle-fit issue than I first thought, but I can only imagine how much both of us will improve with a saddle that fits him better, and is better designed to help me adopt a good classical dressage seat (vs. hunter/jumper ).
Cookies for reading, just thought I'd share my lightbulb moment with y'all!