I have been working on subtle transition cues with Rose ever since our last lesson. It is amazing the change not only in the quality of hack but in her attitude as well. She is transitioning to the trot with the tiniest flexion of my thigh muscles, and the canter as well. No leg pressure needed. In turn our downward transitions are improving as well. I'm using more seat, however subtle, and much less hand. More or less, I'm just thinking the transition I want, and she's giving it to me! As a result she is much quieter and is using her hind end nicely and is stretching down and into contact. All of this is without spurs by the way. She's a super sensitive horse, so I've never really used spurs with her. However, I didn't realize she was capable of being this sensitive. Previously she'd go around behind the vertical and heavy on the forehand, tearing my arms off and knocking me off balance. It is so much easier to focus on my position when I'm not fighting an 1100lb horse for an hour.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!