I can go on for paragraphs, but I'll cut to the chase and spare you all: I found my outside rein and we worked on getting Soon up in a shorter outline. He had some real brilliant moments too - he worked in a higher outline much longer than he has before, and he remained soft and happy in the work. We got his right side unlocked, I supported correctly on the outside aids, and we got him to bring the base of his neck up. It took him and I a couple of minutes to get it right starting out, but he clued in pretty quickly at the start of the lesson, and the rest of the ride was just getting a little bit more out of him with each movement. I felt better in the saddle, he felt like he was much more uphill and going somewhere, and getting much more "through" while still maintaining the shorter outline. I could definitely feel the change in the gait when his inside hind came up and under himself, if only for a few steps at a time. His canter got him immediate compliments from the trainer as well, who was pushing us, but was very pleasant about it and happy to give praise when earned. She was lovely to deal with and helped me get more out of my horse, so we'll be riding with her every other week. She events as well, so we'll do jump schools with her too.
Next ride will probably be a light flat school with plenty of stretch work, as we only did a little bit of stretching as a break. The shorter/higher outline is a lot of work for him at this stage, so we'll take it easy and recover. The 98 degree (felt like 102?) didn't help either - I normally don't ride when it's that hot, but it was that or no lesson, so we dealt with it. My eyelids were sweating. Gross. Soonie seemed to recover just fine, he got a long, cool hosing and got to eat hay in front of his fan after. And lots of carrots for making Mommy look good in front of the dressage lady. We're off to a great start! :)