Tonight we worked on figuring out and fixing some of the issues I had during my practice rides this week.
Issue #1: Louie raised up his neck when I tried to leg yield. The "monkey bars" think didn't help. Solution: I was leaning too forward and getting into my knees. I need to lean way back, sit the bend, and keep my inside rein open out to my knee. We also discovered that I have issues with my left hand/wrist- I constantly want to pull that hand up toward his withers and extend my wrist. Doing this shuts the door on the left hind and doesn't let him bend and use that leg properly to step under himself, so I need to really keep that left hand wide and toward my knee when doing lateral work or bending. So, I didn't even need the monkey bars, just lean back, tuck my butt way under, and open my inside (especially left) hand out away from his neck and push with my leg/whip lightly.
Issue #2: I wasn't able to move my inside seat bone forward/up for the canter cue. I had this problem primarily tracking to the right. We initially thought this was because my right stirrup was a bit shorter than my left. But Julie hopped on today and discovered that the reason I can't move that hip is because Louie instantly becomes crooked and throws his haunches to the outside the second I quit asking him for the bend. Solution: keep Louie really bent, almost thinking haunches in, lean back and get my pelvis tucked way under, and keep my sacrum constantly in the saddle. This not only let me move my hips, but also, my sitting the canter was eons better than it has been, and the canter, was therefore much improved as well.
Those are really the two main things we worked on today. To sum it up, I need to lean way back, keep my butt tucked underneath me (think: sacrum into the saddle), and be sure to open my inside rein way to the inside for any bending or lateral work.