Just thought I'd share some insights from the couple of rides I got in this B-E-A-Utiful weekend.
I introduced Scout to spurs, just little short knobs, and he took it really well. They've helped his proto-lateral work quite a bit, since I now have a way to back up my leg. We've started on spirals, nosing him into a tighter circle and yielding out onto a larger one; also working on getting a couple of steps of leg yield, all at the walk. I'm being very careful to still ask with a weight shift and leg alone first, of course.
I've got to say, as nervous as I was over trying the spurs in conjunction with my less than perfect legs, I think wearing them has improved my legs because I'm now being very careful about keeping my leg quiet and correct to not inadvertently activate the spur. I know I'm losing my stirrups a lot less. However, in all my focus on my legs I think my hands are suffering a bit -- for the last 2 weeks or so, Scout has been very consistently developing "white lipstick" foam on his lips and softening his jaw; but less so over this weekend's rides. I'm sure it's just a matter of developing a more independent seat, and learning to multi-task better.
This morning we did quite a bit more canter work than usual, primarily transitions up from and back to trot, so we took a long cool out with a short, easy trail ride. I have to say, rarely have I felt so stable in the saddle! I could really feel my leg draping around his ribs, my weight sinking into my stirrups, down through my heels! I wish I had pics... I took him a short way into the meadow off of our backyard, into belly-deep grass for the first time. He went in very willingly, stopped once and flexed his neck around and looked at me like I was crazy. Perhaps for the next trail ride I'll search out a good spot to introduce water crossings to him. Soon the big hay field will be cut and I'll have a more open flat area to really get him moving outside the arena, which I'm hoping will help him learn that a canter can be maintained for more than 2/3 of a lap around the ring .
Sorry for rambling a bit, just thought I'd share a little of our progress in light of a couple of extraordinarily productive and pleasant rides. I don't really have any questions, but feel free to comment or make suggestions, as always.