My goal today was to work on right lead canter transitions. That's pretty much where we left off last time, so I knew we could pick up there today. We had been making progress but still had a ways to go and after we started working, it was clear that she wasn't going to go easy on me today.
She warmed up nicely but once I started asking for the canter, she wanted to GO! The fact that it was hot didn't really matter to her apparently, so after fighting with her a bit, I just let her go. She seemed grateful for the freedom and ran about 15 laps around the arena at mach speed and once I thought my guts had been thoroughly rearranged in my abdomen, I decided I'd had enough and asked her to whoa. She did her best sliding stop and seemed grateful that I asked for it. I gave her a few quick minutes to catch her breath and then we went back to it.
With the shank bit, she gets cranky when I'm constantly in her mouth asking her for slow. I get cranky when I have to constantly ask for slow, so I'm trying to help her understand that when she goes nicely on her own, I leave her face alone. We worked a lot on holding her for a few strides and then letting her go on her own for a few strides. Once she speeds up, I hold her for a few strides, then let her go... eventually she started to get the hang of it.
We had been working to the right for quite some time, so I wanted to reverse and work on her left lead canter. The transitions this way are always nice and smooth, and I don't get any of the head popping like I do to the right, so this way is more about getting her to rate her speed. The very first time we cantered, she went slow on her own and kept her neck nice and level. It was like she was saying, "is this what I'm supposed to do?" It was beautiful! After making it half way around the arena on a loose rein with a gorgeous LOPE, I asked her to stop, and I hopped off. If I could get her to lope like that all the time, she would be amazing!
I loosened her girth and walked her around the arena until she was breathing normally, and then we headed back to the barn. She was SO sweaty! I didn't have my camera, but I did have my iPhone, so here's the best I have.