OMG TODAY WAS WICKED!
We started off with a little brisk walk up and down the driveway. She was very iffy about going past the Scary Utility Shed that is at the end of the driveway, but we have to walk past it to get on the driveway in the first place, soooo... we had to go over the "creek" instead because she did not want to walk past the Scary Utility Shed and over the bridge that crosses the "creek". I say "creek" because it's a little flow of water that happens to run through a dip in the grass when there is rain, it turns into a legitimate creek about fifty feet after it crosses beneath the bridge.... it's complicated, but it's definitely safe to cross (it barely goes up to my ankles)............... anyway, we went over that, back onto the driveway, up, down, and then she walked over the bridge and past the Scary Utility Shed without a big fuss. All the while we were working on a brisk, swinging walk.
In the arena, we did some more walking exercises, and then I tried picking up the reins a bit. She arched into them nicely and didn't draw her head up. She did once or twice, so I just dropped the reins and tried it again. Then I decided to give the trot a go. We trotted entirely on the buckle, both sitting and rising, and boy was she nailing it! She had her neck slightly arched and she had a nice swinging trot going. After about and hour of trotting and walking, I picked up a sitting trot and picked up the reins about three or four inches from the buckle, as we had been working our way up. Instantly she got a huge, lovely arch in her neck and her nose was perpendicular to the ground. I felt her launch off her hind legs and her back swing beneath me. This happened halfway down the long side of the arena, so I let her go like this, still on a fairly loose rein, down the rest of the long side and around the corner and immediately let her walk and gave her some instant praise overload and called it a day. It was amazing. I cooled her off by walking up and down the driveway again, this time uneventful.
All throughout the ride we did halts and rein backs, which was followed by having her move off at a brisk walk off of a light leg aid. Also, the downward transitions were all wonderful and no reins were used. I cantered her on a large circle once going both ways, just to feel it. It felt more controlled, so that's a plus.
All in all, a successful day!