Sandy teaches transitions from your seat. The idea was for me to ask when one of her front legs was on the ground by squeezing with my calf. Additionally, Sandy teaches us to never brace; she does not want the supple movement of the horse's back to be compromised. In the transition, the leg which hangs softly against the side of your horse squeezes with the upper calf and stills -- a pause in the following movement of the lower leg. Eventually, this momentary stillness becomes the primary aid. Thinking about the canter aid, we slide our outside leg back -- kind of a windshield wiper movement. But, we also slide that leg back for leg yield, half pass and other upper level movements. The stilling of your leg says "transition", your upper calf says "now", and your hand receives the energy with a light ring-finger half halt before and after the transition.
My biggest take-away from this clinic (and there were many) was the expectation of prompt clear transitions between gates. I had been asking for my downward transition from trot to walk by sitting, slowing my seat, sitting a bit heavier and we gently dropped into walk. Nope. Not any more. We need to transition from an active trot to an active walk and it has to be Bam! Part of what we worked on in the video was teaching Lucy that when I sit the trot it doesn't mean slow down. I have her conditioned to think we are going to gradually make the transition. The same is true for the walk to trot, upward, transition. A gradual build to a forward trot isn't acceptable anymore. She's not a young, green horse (all I've ever owned before Lucy). She can go from zero to sixty in a stride; I need to expect that (and be comfortable with the surge of power). As Sandy said, Lucy is an "ambitious" horse -- she likes to go; forward is not a challenge (relaxation and patience are).
By Sunday morning, Lucy and I were in sync. She felt amazing -- controlled power, like driving a Ferrari (well, I've never driven one, but one can imagine).
I love, love, love this horse. And, the workshop was awesome. Even with the heat and the stinky cat-pee smelling fly bait dousing, it was awesome.