In my lesson on Thursday I was having a hard time finding distances, and getting Buddy in front of my leg. Jen had me focus on pumping my arms like a little kid to relax my elbows and encourage Bud to come forward. We also went back and did a mini course of canter poles, working on moving him forward and then collecting.
At first I was pretty upset that I'd been downgraded to just poles, but it's a lot harder to find distances to the poles than it in to the jumps! Bud (an most horses) don't really care about ground poles so he was ambivalent about moving forward or collecting when I asked him to. I really had to get after him, and we ended up hand galloping some of the poles then stopping after to get him to listen. Once we went back to the jumps it was so much easier.
Again, I focused on relaxing and being fluid with my elbows. We then moved on to a little course and it was so much better than when we started. Bud was tired, but willing and Jen even set some of the fences up a few holes for our final run thru. We also talked and confirmed that we're going to our last schooling show for the season, Nov 17th. We'll do the 2'6" pre adult hunter and the mini medal. Can't wait!