I recently realized that when I play with Cici before I go out on a trail ride I have only been asking for a few strides of canter. I let her walk the circle, I count the number of times she trots the circle, and when I ask for canter I check the quality of her depart - softly into canter or bucking? My preflight check.
If she goes quietly into canter I invite her in after a few strides. We change direction, check the gaits this way and again nice soft into canter and a few strides and disengage hind end. Time to add the saddle and check her out online again.
With Casey flying around and around and around me at the canter I guess I've had another of those duh?!?!!? moments. So I pledged to work with Cici to have her canter on the 22'completely around and even to be able to count the circles.
On Wednesday my plan was to have her canter a complete circle. When I asked for canter she softly went into it and after 3 strides came back to trot. She was doing exactly what we've been practicing! OMG! So I adjusted my plan to increase the number of strides to 5 and not even consider a complete circle. Took several tries but she did it. So I invited her in to me and we went on to other things.
Today, well I guess I could say the temperatures have been up in the 60s and down in the 30s. This morning it was brisk. I had not ridden Cici on the trails in about a week and only played with her a few times.
Or I could say she got up on the lively side of the paddock this morning. I didn't see any real indication when I brought her into the ring to play. We did sideways, we did figure 8s around cones, we played yo-yo. I sent her out on the circle and she was moving slow. I upped my phases and she woke up a bit and started to trot.
A nice moving trot that went into a quarter horse gallop without any provocation that I could see. Now when she "takes off" she will do all her antics ON THE CIRCLE. She used to take off in a straight line. But I don't think she likes to hit the end of the rope, so now she can go full out and stay on the circle!
Today I was thinking the 22' was short! Looks like the 45 is going to be coming out soon.
After one lap she turns in and comes directly to me. Kind of "I don't know what came over me." I thanked her for coming in but asked her to back and then go out on the circle. Well now when I asked for trot I got gallop. And where I had been thinking of how to build up her confidence to canter multiple circles, she was galloping! multiples times! around on the circle! Who's games are these?!?!
Changed direction to the left and she didn't want to trot. I insisted, upped my phases and in a blink of eye she is galloping around this way. Two three times around the circle, not breaking gait, looking where she is going. And then back to me.
I tell her that I do not mind in the least her exuberance while on line. That this is the place for it. Not under saddle.
This goes on for about 30 minutes. This is not usual in anyway for her. Usual is walk, trot and 3 strides of canter LOL. Finally I can ask for walk trot canter and she responds lightly and willingly.
Out on the trails she is soft and willing. And tired.
5 hours ago