So. At this point, I'd say I've pretty much taught Izzy everything I know about dressage. She goes willingly forward into contact at the walk, trot and canter. She can do small transitions within gaits, and is reliable at leg yielding (both directions) and shoulder in (confirmed left, very close right). We do nice trot/halt/trot transitions, she has a decent reinback, and she's just plain fun to ride.
All that said, Izzy is starting to get bored. Now that she's mastered what I'm asking of her, she can do it and let her attention completely wander. She's like me--we need challenges.
The only problem is that I have nothing to challenge her with. I started a new exercise last night--we'd ride deep into the corner before the longside, then leg yield out to quarter line, straight for a stride, and leg yield back before the next corner. It was fun and challenging for both of us. My thinking is that it will force me to be more correct and ride straighter, which will hopefully prep her for lateral movements that move in the direction of the bend, instead of away from it.
I'm also adding in canter leg yields. I'm hesitant to do too much with the canter without further instruction because I tend to ride her too slow and short and I've never really had any instruction in it.
Thanks to the gorgeous pictures that Ellie took, I have been able to correct some rather glaring position flaws (not visible in this picture), so I'm riding it better, but I still don't know what to do.
And I guess I'm saying all this today because I have been able to coordinate absolutely zero lessons for Izzy and I this month. Nothing. Nada. The dressage trainer who owes me two lessons and lives 10 minutes away is "too busy" and the trainer we're going to be moving in with soon is of course, way busy moving down here anyways. Oh, and October is the month from hell for me anyways.
So... Izzy is enjoying some pretty easy weeks while I try to stay afloat. She's muddy, fat, and happy, and I keep reminding myself not to stress.
After all, boot camp for both of us starts in just less than three weeks.