Had a Step Forward Day

Two steps forward, one step back is commonly referred to as the path forward.  Today I figured a bunch of stuff out.

As anyone who has been reading my posts knows I’ve been having a horrible time with canter departs.  I’ve contorted myself in so many different ways to get the correct ‘scoop with my seat,’ but to no avail.  Sometimes he would canter and other times not.  I held to the belief that I wasn’t communicating correctly what I wanted.  However, something always nagged at me: don’t let the horse compromise your position.  At my last lesson, Barbara got behind us with the lunge whip, which helped a little.  I thought about both concepts: not compromising my position and the effect of the whip behind us, and decided to try again.  I half-halted, half-halted, sent forward, swung my outside leg back, and scooped with my seat.  When he didn’t canter off, I tap-tap-taped him hard with the whip on his rump until he cantered.  He bucked a little but no biggy.  We repeated it a bunch of times in both directions and eventually he cantered off with just the correct aids – I also used my voice, saying “ready, and, canter, to serve as a bridge, since he knows that from lunging.  I think maybe I just wasn’t motiving him enough because after we cantered his trot was amazing. I was being too nice and also not definite enough.  He CAN do it (I had my doubts) – he just doesn’t really want to and if I don’t make him, then he won’t do it.

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