Cisco's canter has been on the struggle bus as of late. He's been picking up his leads with no issue, and in general the transitions have been prompt and without drama.
|I got some usable Pixio footage (lots of non-usable footage). It's taken forever to be able to get on this horse and walk around on the buckle at the start of the ride.|
But once we get into the canter, he's a llama. A left-bending llama.
|It's a little dark, but this moment totally shows our struggle with dropping the right shoulder tracking right.|
I've been wondering if it's a physical issue, a tack issue, a training issue, or an idiot rider issue.
One training hole that I know we have is not being able to get flexion at the poll without following with his shoulders. I spent so much time trying to get this horse to go on a straight line forward that I kind of neglected to work on getting flexion at anything other than a walk. We've been working on it, and I'm pretty sure that this will help our canter immensely.
On a ride last Friday I decided to tackle the canter. I only wanted him to give me some bend, and not carry his head straight up in the air. Was a decent ride lead canter something he couldn't do, in which case I'd have to look into getting a vet workup done, or he didn't want to do (because it's hard)?
|I like the uphill moment, but would like the neck a bit longer and my butt to stay in the saddle.|
We went back to doing lots of transitions on a circle. The first couple of canters were ugly, but it slowly started getting better. He started softening his back and allowed me to influence and ride the canter, rather than just sit on top and steer.
|Magic colour change pony - he's now a palomino!|
We made some progress in being able to ask for some flexion and have him reach down into contact. There were also some lovely, soft transitions into canter.
And then we had an amazing trot around the arena! Forward, straight, even contact in both my reins - it felt fantastic!