Yesterday we had some especially grand weather and I couldn't resist a ride! We quickly tacked up and I hopped on, ready to go! We headed out to the big 70 acre pasture for a nice ride. We saw a herd of cows across the fence and Sabumi had to snort about it, of course! We trotted around a bit and I was feeling like we were both relaxed enough to try the canter! I asked him and he responded within 3 strides! I was so impressed! We cantered a half circle to the left, dropped to the trot when he started getting too excited, changed direction, did the same thing. We cantered probably 2 BIG circles in each direction total. We may have had the correct lead once out of four tries. I am not worried about that yet. I figure we can work on getting used to the gait for a while, then start working on circles which will encourage him to pick up the correct lead. This way the training process will be as stress free as possible for both of us! He was very good, overall! He never hesitated to pick up the gait. He was a little fast, but that is normal for an inexperienced horse. I expected it from Sabumi because he has shown some difficulty with balancing at the canter on the longe line.
In other news, I have been working on teaching the horse to bow. This has been a fun process for both of us! I started by getting him to take a treat that I held at his shoulder. Then I put the treat at his chest. Then I moved it down near his knee. Each step takes about 3 days/3 repetitions. The hardest part was putting the treat between his legs. He kept trying to back up to get it. Once he figured that out, I started moving the treat further back between his legs so that he had to really stretch to reach the treat. I then started lifting his left leg and having him reach between his legs for the treat. Now I am getting him to lower his leg so that his knee is on the ground. I will post a video once we have the trick mastered!!!