Friday I had the disappointment of having my lesson being cancelled, but of course, that wasnt going to stop me from riding!
Instead of the lesson, I did more sets. Our ride went something like this:
10 min walking, 20 min lazy trotting. 5 min walking. 10 mins trotting, then ask for canter: buck, snort, run, woah woah woah. Back to trot, zip around and canter without permission every 3 trot strides. Woah woah woah. Trot really slow… almost in place, then take off cantering. Woah woah woah. Beautiful piaffe again. Then Canter! Woah woah woah! And so on and so forth.
Bentley is funny that way. When he gets in canter brain, it almost seems like hes willing to do almost anything to make it happen, but manages to take me too literally each time. He must think “Every time I canter, she says woah, ok I will really woah then maybe I can really canter… ok I completed my woah now CANTER TIME” It’s hilariously adorable, I know he doesn’t mean harm. Just excited and a little confused. And of course, I get confused because I can’t find the middle ground yet with him. Heres the point where I ask for suggestions from everyone reading this!
After a few minutes of this, he did get a wonderful trot and I rewarded him by asking for the canter. Margie always has us slow down to trot or walk after we have achieved a good canter as his reward, but I must admit, when I am not in lessons I reward him by allowing him to continue cantering so long as it is nice. It seems like he wants that more, Barb was there and commented on how happy he looks when hes cantering! Actually, when I started that series, I brought him back to the “piatrott” as I may call it because it was supposed to be Margie’s reward. So long as I talk to him and tell him what a good boy he is being when he doesn’t run, I think I can keep letting him have canter fun! After all, shouldnt our horses have as much fun as us? I doubt lengthy canters be a problem for endurance, but if we ever want to do some dressage, I may need to reconsider my strategies… one 20m canter circle may not cut it for him! He does have that lovely piaffe! Seriously, he already looks like a top notch dressage horse when he does this. Just have to figure out all that other canter baloney to make it to that level haha. If you don’t know what piaffe is watch it!
So after 15 minutes of cantering (including the unintentional piaffes), 10 of which was nice, we took it down to trot for another 5 minutes. 5 minutes walk rest. Then another 10 min trot, 5 min very nice canter (I swear once he gets the excitement out of his system, he performs fabulously!) 5 more mins of trot and coolout.
With my estimates, it was about 13 mines worth of arena work (Based on my estimates of how fast his gaits are). Not bad!