I had a friend video tape a few play sessions with Renegade and I over the weekend and boy was that video revealing. It was difficult to watch some of the things I was doing but great to see how I can change what I'm doing to help my horse. I was confusing him on so many levels and as hard as I've been trying to not act like a predator, that's exactly what I saw on the video.
With my new awareness planted firmly in my head, I went out to play with Renegade tonight. We had been playing with canter circles, both online and at liberty, and having inconsistent results. Now I know why...I was way too direct line and focusing on getting those canter circles. Once I broke it down into what was really broken, we had great results tonight. By concentrating on the quality of our back-up and send with snappy departures, I actually got canter circles tonight with very little effort on my part. My horse was responding to lighter phases and with more energy. So...BFO...it's NOT about the canter circles!!
The hard part for me is I know this intellectually, but I finally now really KNOW this. How did I get so off track and so direct line? How will I stop myself from doing this again? Can I stop myself from doing this again? Is my awareness such that I can stop myself from becoming so direct line again? Thankfully horses are forgiving and if I pay attention maybe, just maybe, I won't keep repeating my mistakes.