I’ve ridden Heddvig the last two weeks as well and its continued to be a little hit and miss. The second to last time we tried a new saddle which moved around less on her broad, round back but which ultimately ended up being a little too low in the back. The main thing I took with me from that lesson was to keep working on being more decisive; I need to ask for quicker responses and I need to assume that she will play along. Once I did that, towards the end of the lesson, I got some really nice canter departures. Oh, I also need to work on how I sit her canter at times, since I don’t quite have my hips aligned right. But I think the saddle made it worse than usual.
Last week we combined the canter departures exercise with the riding good corners exercise and rode a curved line along the length of the arena so that we effectively were riding a counter-canter through that curve. Heddvig once again started out feeling a little off—Ulrika isn’t quite sure what’s up—but once we got to the cantering she got rather charged up and we had some pretty explosive departures. Still, I hope they get a handle on what is bothering her; it seems quite subtle, but its hard to say if its just something seasonal or an actual issue. She sweats a bit more than she should (though she is a bit overweight and not in super shape), but that’s the only really clear sign of anything.
The main issue for the these last weeks have otherwise been my back, which has been fiercly bad. I am pretty crippled for a couple of days following each lesson, so need to figure out what I can do to strengthen my lower back and limber up better before the lessons. I suspect its Heddvig’s broad back that is the culprit, at least in part.