December 26, 2014

TOABH: Shining Star

Shining Star
Let's talk about the biggest achievements your horse has accomplished.  I'm not talking about you as a rider - I want to know what your ponykins has done to make you proud.  Is there a glorious satin collection, did he/she figure out some dressage movement that took months to learn, or are is it just a great day when your butt stays in the saddle?  

Like Bekka, the canter is absolutely Connor and I's greatest achievement.

The Welsh Cob is a breed bred specifically to pull wagons with a trot big enough to keep up with a full-sized war horse, while still being small and thrifty.  Translation: good at trotting on the forehand.  Bad at cantering and shifting weight back.

Flat canter in October of 2011.

Same day as the above picture, but really pulling himself with his front end here. (That said, I love this picture of us, from before I owned him!)

We've done 5 or so clinics with Cathy Jones-Forsberg since May of 2012, so she's known us since the beginning of our partnership, and at our last one in September of 2014, she had this to say on his canter:

"His canter is phenomenal, so much better.  He didn't have a canter when I first met you (May of 2012), he was the king of trantering.  It's a testament to [you and trainer] that you have made so much progress with his canter, because it's a lot easier to improve a trot than a canter.  He's a lot stronger in his body, and has a lot more "tools behind" to create that compact canter."

Cathy clinic, September 2014

It's still a work in progress, but I'm so proud of how far it has come.  It used to be flat, and runny and strung out, with his legs trailing behind him and his weight on his forehand.  Now, I am able to put it together.  I had to learn a lot about impulsion and getting him to shift his weight back, and he had to get a lot stronger.

With a better canter, we not only get a better canter, we get better jumps as well.  It's the gift that gives in all 3 phases of eventing.


  1. Even in pictures, the improvement is HUGE! Go Connor!

  2. I feel your pain! What a huge accomplishment! :)

  3. nice work! achieving a solid canter is definitely high on my own list of goals too - for exactly what you say about it benefiting all three phases... very cool!