|Jetta says that she's not bad, just challenging. I always say I enjoy a challenge, right?|
Jetta has actually been quite good for our last two rides. I went out in the evening last night and despite a new boarder that rubs me the wrong way we had a nice ride.
I have nothing against gamers and in fact used to be one, but my pet peeves: horse has no manners and neither does the owner - tying the horse in the arena instead of in the stall or in cross ties? Tying with the lead rope attached to a stud chain? Horse is hyped up and apparently doesn't have a walk gait and jigs around the arena snorting up a storm? Owner sticks her non-horsey boyfriend on said hyped up horse, sans helmet and he basically struggles to control the horse while she goes to clean it's stall, not paying attention or offering guidance. Grrr.
That aside, we've been working on our canter transitions. They're ok now, but I want them to be really good! I want that easy, invisible transition where the horse just steps into the canter. Either I get an enthusiastic leap into the canter or a fairly good transition with ears pinned.
Apparently I can't win.
I've tried different methods of asking her to canter - putting my outside leg back (makes her pissy), not putting my outside leg back, doing a slight haunches-fore into it (then whenever I want her to do haunches-in she gets upset), "picking" her up into the canter (miss the transition 55% of the time), etc. Some trainers have recommended doing transitions over and over again until they're not a big deal, but no matter how many we do, it just amps her up more until I just have to focus her on something else.
This morning I tried to ask as quietly as possible for the canter, though occasionally Jetta would go to canter then immediately drop back to the trot like she wasn't sure I was really asking for it. Again, transitions were all ok today, but I want better.
Plus, all this work on cantering has made her anticipate it so much. We will be trotting along and I won't be doing a single thing to indicate the canter, yet she'll offer it (of course then it's a beautiful transition but I didn't ask for it!). We ran through Training test 1 today for practice and she offered me a canter twice when I wasn't asking. Sigh...
At least instead of returning to a tense, heavy, rushing trot she remained fairly light and springy which was a welcome improvement. Nice not to have a freight train in your hands.
We have a little over a month to sort this out because we're going to a show!!! Finally a league dressage show on February 24th. I'm set on doing this one, though just in case it doesn't work out there is also one March 9-10th. I would love to do both, but I don't know if I can swing it financially, especially if I go to a jumper show on the 9th of February. We shall see...
So, what aids to you use to ask for the canter?