Music's rhythm is becoming more consistent with each ride, so now Miss El is having me pick up the pace a bit. She's not as out of shape as she was a month ago. It's time for real work to begin. It's pretty easy for us to get the pace going at the trot and maintain it, but the walk is still pretty weak.
Along with moving up at the trot, she's having me ask Music to come onto the bit, which Music does sometimes, but her preferred place is with a slight droop in the reins. In reality, that is fine for hunters and pleasure, and she can do that whilst performing a solid gait, but it's not contact, which I need for, well, everything else. Once I shortened my reins and picked up more contact, she immediately wanted to stop, and it took a lot of leg and softening before she settled into my hands. The big thing is softening (in general, actually) because Music is the type of horse that pulls back when you pull on her.
Bending was still the main issue for today, but she is getting better. It's more me trying to figure out how to get the correct bend. Baby was much easier, even if that right bend took an eternity to accomplish.
The canter transitions were better, as well. As aforementioned, softening came up more than once. I'm still half seating to get off of Music's back, but, while my hands and arm are giving and following, I'm riding defensively with my upper body (wow, I wonder why), and I apparently look like I'm ready to fight. I need to pull my shoulders back, take a deep breath, let my weight flow down to my legs, and just freaking chill. Easier said than done.