The magical lope that I have referred to in the last few posts is still here. I believe that it may be here to stay. I know I shouldn't be so surprised by my horse's ability to perform a gait that most Western horses do naturally, but this is by far the best lope this mare has produced in 10 years.
I took a few videos last night while I was riding. When I first watched them it occurred to me that they were somewhat boring, almost like watching paint dry. It then occurred to me just how wonderful that is! Grace's lope isn't slow, but it is balanced, smooth and rhythmic. I could ride it all day long. Her left lead is 1000 times better than it has ever been. I no longer feel like I changed horses when I changed directions. And the icing, this is all one handed!
I threw in a few lead changes at the end of the ride. I know I need to work on keeping my body soft and relaxed especially for line changes on a Western Riding pattern. On the 1st video you can see where at first I am stiff, but at the end I remember to torso twist. Yes that is me at the end saying "It's all me... God I hate that!" It was kind of fun to catch one of those "Oh Really?!?" moments on video.