When riding Lucky, there have been times when I had glimpses of harmony. However, during my most recent rides, things seemed to align perfectly and I had more than just a few moments of harmony with Lucky. During the trot, I had more harmony than I have ever had with any horse, and kept it for more than a few strides at a time. It felt phenomenal. I was effortless posting at the trot and directing Lucky, without having tension and without my leg flying all over the place. Lucky was in front of my left and available to me, ready to do what I asked.
That is ultimately what my goal is during every ride. I want myself to be in balance, and to be able to help whatever animal I am riding to be in balance, relaxed, and round. When they get to this supple "sweet spot", they are ready to do anything for the rider because they are set up to do so. This is something that I have observed every time Laura lunges or rides. Most clearly and recently, I have observed this when Laura had worked on introducing a mule to dressage. This mule has and a lot of great training, in various disciplines, but he has never been taught to weight his hind end and use his back in the way dressage horses should. Watching him figure out how use his body has been fascinating and educational. When his body position does become correct, he becomes eager to make a transition. It is important to note, however, that it is not about getting him in a frame. It's about him using his hind end and his back and becoming supple and free in his body.
Her walk was also probably the best walk I have ever had on her. She took long strides, and her back and hips were free and swinging. She did not become "stuck" behind my leg. The fact that Laura and ridden first had helped that.
I did have some difficulties in the canter, however. I became a bit twisted, and she did not canter right when I asked. However, instead of forcing the issue, I calmly regained a rhythmic, unhurried trot before asking again. It is much better to have a correct transition than a rushed, unbalanced one. I later on got a few nice sets of cantering, and ended the lesson there.