Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Canter improvement

Monday's ride was even better than Friday! We started on a long rein to warm up and then I slowly collected my reins and started asking Boomer to connect and give to the bit. I expected resistance and to have to do our halt-flex-walk exercise, but Boomer surprised me! He gave immediately as soon as I took up even the lightest contact! He was soft and light in my hand from the start! After walking a little and neck flexing inside and out on a small circle we started trotting. The trot is coming along really well. I would say that the walk is 100% round and light. (Obviously, I don't mean olympic level 100%... I mean Heather and Boomer level 100%) The trot is 90% round and 80% light. He isn't quite as flexed in the neck and still occasionally braces or inverts, but is mostly awesome! On to the canter, the rhythm is getting better. I don't have to work as hard to keep him in it unless he sneezes or otherwise loses balance. I did ask him to give to the inside rein a little today and he started to give down a few strides at a time! I was very happy with that. One thing we need to work on is the canter to trot transition. I have given him the bad habit of 'relaxing' after every canter, so he wants to walk. I have a hard time getting him to be forward and round at the trot right after the canter. He braces against my hand and sucks back behind my leg.

I was so happy with how quickly he came into my hand today. I felt like we could get started right away instead of fighting for 30 minutes and then finally getting it for the last 30 minutes! What a good feeling to not be frustrated!

Hopefully for our Wednesday lesson we can work on cantering and getting control of the after-canter trot.

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