Pony is so smart and cute. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating. Every time I ride her is better than the last; and if it isn't, then it is my fault.
When I work her, I try to keep it interesting and varied. I usually start with some ground work, do some arena work, then some trail. Today the ground work was working on her feet, as with going back to a dry lot for most of the day she was getting some chips that I wanted to smooth out.
Today's arena work was mostly at the walk. I'm practicing things that I've been working on in my lessons and that I observed at the Buck Brannaman clinic. Today we did the tear drop pattern and also the "can you stay on a circle without me directing your every step" exercise. The teardrop pattern was very good. The circle exercise was mediocre but we did make improvement. Since I don't want to drill her, I found a good place to stop with that and moved on to something else. We did just a bit of backing and she was nice and soft, so that was that. We did some trotting and that is getting much better - she is keeping a rhythm, the shape of the circle is actually staying in the shape of a circle, she isn't trying to go back to the barn, and we can do figure 8s and change rein and she feels pretty balanced!
So today we cantered!
I've cantered her before out on the trail on a straight line, as I think that is an easier way for a young horse to go into the gait and to just move freely. I've cantered her before in the indoor arena but it was not so great because it isn't as big as I would like it to be and she wasn't as balanced as she is now. I've also cantered her in the outdoor arena, but it was her idea (in protest of . . . something) not mine. But today it was my idea. There's a certain rhythm to the trot. 1,2,1,2,1,2,1,2 . . . and when posting, you can feel the rhythm of the canter in the trot. I don't know really how to explain it, but you can sort of change your posting with the idea of cantering and then the horse can easily transition into the canter. That's what we did today! Her canter is pretty cute, I must say. It feels very determined, but in a pony sort of way. She wasn't running off, she didn't feel wobbly side to side. She just cantered. We only did a few strides in each direction (she got her leads!) and had walk breaks in between. After that we did a few more trot circles where she seemed to be seeking contact, and with that good work I called it and we finished up with a nice little trail ride.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that after I got on her and I was working her in the indoor first, just walking around, I had my tarp-flag in my hand and sort of waved it all around her and she wasn't bothered by it.
Such a good girl. So smart and cute. Have I said that already?