On Friday I was finally able to have another lunge lesson to help with the canter. Since riding with my eyes closed helped so much with contact, I thought I might try it to feel the canter depart. Well, it didn’t work. I tipped forward a lot. I don’t know if it was because that’s my natural inclination or if having my eyes closed messed with my balance. At the end I opened them, which helped a bit with the tipping forward. So, bottom line, closing my eyes to help with feel may not always work.
On Saturday I tried cantering by myself. To make sure I didn’t bang PJ in the mouth I held the bucking strap. I used all of the tools in my toolbox. I leaned backed, I pushed him over with my inside leg, I swung my inside leg back without spurring him, used and then gave my inside rein. Oh yeah, I also said, ready, and canter. We cantered. It wasn’t pretty – he kicked out a little, picked up the wrong lead at first, etc. But we eventually cantered.
From the outside it seems like cantering would be such a easy thing. Everyone canters, right? But we horse people know how much goes into something that sounds so simple. I was talking to an eventing friend of mine and she was having a similar issue with her downward transitions. How hard could it be to stop? Yeah right! We’re all in this together.