February 21, 2013

Lateral Canter Movements

Two firsts today in our lesson!

It was the first time we ever did lateral work at the canter, and the first lesson in which we've focused seriously on improving the canter for most of the lesson.  This is by design: he's only just now ready for this sort of thing.

After we got the first leg yield in the canter, the very first time we tried, I said, "Wow.  That was really good."  My trainer laughed and said, "Yes it was.  You seem surprised!"  I thought about it for a second and replied, "No, not exactly surprised, I know he knew what I was asking for since we've established that lateral aids = move laterally in other gaits.  I guess I am more amazed with the whole process that he's come so far that I can ask him for something brand new and he can pull from what he already knows and put two and two together and do the new skill without freaking out."

I can't remember exactly what she said next, but it was something to the effect that it's because he has been brought along correctly, slowly and at his own pace, so that he thoroughly understands a concept to the point that he's able to apply it in other situations.  Very cool stuff, and much improvement in the canter these days.

The exercise we spent most of the lesson on, after we got straight and forward, was leg yield to the quarter line from H at the sitting trot (example is on the left rein), change bend, 15m circle in the middle of the arena, pick up canter on first half of circle, come up quarter line, leg yield over to K in the canter.  Later, we also did an exercise where we'd pick up the canter at F (example is on right lead), make a tight turn to come across the short side from K toward F, then make another tight turn just past F and come down that quarter line, between two piles of standards and poles at X.  It was designed to impart the need for a shorter canter to both of us, and worked really well.  I was not given my stirrups for the entire lesson, as she said they were hindering me and that my position was better without them - I had a hard time cuing for lateral stuff in the sitting trot without getting tight in my upper thigh, but mitigated that by keeping my calves on him, as I should be doing anyway.

I took the morning off and moved my lesson to 10am instead of 7pm before going to work at noon, and I have to say that I loved the trophy wife schedule of pony time before showing up for work whenever I felt like it!  Husband said don't get used to that, though...


  1. Awesome! That sounds like so much fun!

  2. That sounds so much fun! Glad that you have had two firsts you do so well with Connor :)

  3. I remember the first time I asked Hue for a leg yield at the canter. SO COOL! :)

  4. Congratulations! Sounds like an awesome ride and is a good reminder to continue to take things slow with my girl.