February 8, 2012

Nancy K Clinic - Canter

"You'll never get Alzheimer's, there's far too much to remember!"

You saw us at what was probably our best in the clinic yesterday, so today you get us at our worst: the canter.  We have a few things going against us here: it's my worst gait, it's his worst gait, he doesn't have the muscling to hold it well yet, and we haven't done a whole lot of cantering lately since we've been picking apart the walk and trot so thoroughly.  What Nancy showed me on Saturday proved that, once again, a lot of his problems are rooted in my problems, but she also showed me that everything is fixable, and will start with position corrections.

She told me many of the same things she told me at the trot, but additionally, the biggest thing she kept telling me was to focus on my balance.  She noticed that I tensed my inside (right) leg up when I asked him for the trot, and had a keen eye for my tendency to lean on my inside (right) seatbone while unweighting the left.  What does this do on a green horse with a tendency to both rush and "motorcycle" through the turns?  Encourages that imbalance even further!

I wouldn't say she got frustrated with me here, but she did wonder if I was hearing her for a while.  At the canter, I've always had trouble processing and applying information.  It just feels like there's so much going on at that gait.  Luckily I was able to break through that fog and start applying things right around the time she commented, "Oh good, you are up there!"

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