Thursday, April 18, 2013

Canter: We Got This.

Just a quick update because I can't stop grinning! Today I rushed out to the barn after class because it was gorgeous and hot out and I just had to hop on the little red mare. We warmed up in the ring, but I think I'm gonna skip the ring from now on. The footing is too deep and it's too small and we both hate it. Anyway, she was a very good girl in the ring, so while we were trotting I tried just legging her into a little canter. But she couldn't deal with the ring, and she tossed her head, so I walked her around a little and then we rode out into the field. A few walk-trot transitions to confirm that our brain was not blown - and I knew it wouldn't be, this mare really has a fantastic mind - and I looped a finger under the neck strap, got in a half-seat, put my leg on and made kissy noises and... we got a canter! On the proper (left) lead, even!

During the several strides it took between my asking and her complying, she really was trying to figure out what I wanted. Her head came up, her ears flipped back, and she was like, "WHAT are you on about?" Then when she cantered and I said, "Good girl!" she lowered her head and cantered around and it was GREAT. She has good balance! I just left the reins loose and held onto the neck strap and stayed in a half seat. I think she really had fun, and I know I did. I almost felt like we could have jumped out of the canter. She came right back when I asked her to and then I walked her out and called it a day. Tomorrow we'll try cantering both leads! Pretty soon I'm going to start adding in some light hill work, too. Our fields are great for that.

The Best.