Ok so I found the open minded trainer...
So about that dressage instructor? It went great and she didn't mind that I had to click treat. It took her a bit off guard; Aslan will slam on the brakes in a very un-dressage like way if he he hears the click. He stops like a cow horse lol I might have to work on that. You will still get your treat buddy, no need to toss me off the front.
Anyway we did a short lesson, mostly at the trot, and she gave me advice on my seat, my core, and then on how Aslan needs to move and feel. That gave us something to work on for two weeks (the next lesson). She is mostly concerned about rhythm - if he speeds up, he can be afraid, but he could also be losing balance and trying to catch up with himself. And for him to stop in a balanced way, I need to use my core, seat, legs and hands in a certain way. So it all plays together. Gotta love dressage for all the useful feedback in his training. We also took up direct contact no more "direct rein" at least not in dressage work. She said that there is no "direct rein" in dressage. Which makes sense because you are taking up contact, not opening your arms, so it becomes more inside or outside rein. But I hear her. I can differentiate between the two and show Aslan how to do both. Gypsies are a lovely versatile breed.
Two days before the lesson we also had some fun working around cones. I picked up about 10 at the dollar store (yay I found some!) because cones are useful for a number of exercises. Aslan had a lot of fun with that game. I was asking for serpentines and then straight lines. This was challenging for him, since he had to learn to trot around cones and make sharp turns, but then he also had to learn to go straight when I asked and not anticipate going around cones. It was like riding a drunken sailor. We had some good laughs. He tries his best!