Pie continued to work with me yesteday on fixing my right bend, and I expect he was pretty satisfied with the progress I made - he must have been mighty frustrated/annoyed with me. The ride before that he worked with me on my right bend at walk and trot. My job, he told me, was to keep my eyes up - way up - which meant my chin and head were up and my posture much improved with my shoulders and legs open and not blocking. No blocking/pushing with leg or pulling/fussing with my hands. We were to ride to where I was looking, with forward, and in corners and bends, all I was supposed to do was subtly "ride to the outside" as I described in my last post.
We did this work again yesterday, starting in walk and trot. Pie's gaits were very forward and he had great impulsion since his front end wasn't blocked. Then the true test - canter. Right lead canter has been a real struggle for us - lots of falling in, inversion of head and neck and wrong bend by Pie, and lots of fussing, pushing and pulling by me. Very ugly.
Yesterday our canter work was just about perfect - on both leads - the right lead was just as wonderful as the left lead. Pie was forward but not rushing, maintained perfect bend in both directions, including on circles and deep into the corners, and was able to offer quite a bit of softness on a very nice soft contact. We did a fair number of wonderful canter laps in both directions, then I stopped him, got off and put him away, even though we'd only worked for about 20 minutes.
You could just about see him saying "I told you so. . ." Now, if we ever start having trouble with our bend again, I'll know where the problem is - me - funny how that's usually the case if I'm having an issue with one of my horses . . .