I had a very good ride on Dawn today - good one on Pie too. They both had a well-deserved day off yesterday. Dawn and I did a lot of very nice walk and trot work and then focussed on trot/canter transitions. We did a lot of nice canter work - she's still pretty braced to the right but to the left she was able to do some steps of softness. I worked hard at just letting her move - allowing the canter, without holding her too much - she needs to find her own relaxation and I need not to hold and constrain her.
But the really amazing thing was that all of our trot/canter transitions were done through "mind meld" - you know, the Vulcan thing. All, and I mean absolutely all, I had to do to get canter was to think 1-2, 1-2 for the trot and then 1-2-3 for the canter - the instant I changed the rhythm in my mind, she cantered - no physical aids at all. Pure delight - I just had to be careful to not let the canter rhythm enter my mind until the exact instant I wanted canter or else that's what I got.
We also worked on regaining relaxation in trot after each canter set - we're getting there and she's starting to understand that she doesn't have to gallop when I ask for canter . . .