First session! Worked on bending and connection today. Armani is like an overstuffed sausage. In lateral work he tries to shuffle with his body straight. So our instructor challenged us to bend through the body more.
New exercise: Sidepassing down the wall
(Now, I'm not one to split hairs over linguistics. Technically this may not be called "sidepassing". Basically the goal is to stretch and bend.)
I stand facing his shoulder. My right hand holds the bit. My left hand holds the reins by the saddle and a whip. With the whip I tap his right-hind over. We move down the long-side of the arena. My right hand asks him to soften and bend. His right hind should step under his belly. We proceed down the wall at a brisk walk. He is bent toward me, and away from the direction of travel.
Switch hands and go the other way.
Armani grunted and groaned a good deal during our session. Our instructor encouraged us to practice on our own. Which we did. It felt easier the second day.
1 hour ago