Ladies and gentlemen, for your viewing pleasure, the left canter:
The right canter:
Of course we also get the "I'm a 4 year old, chestnut, OTTB, and must leap for no apparent reason" canter!
Providing Forrest didn't give himself another over-reach from this particular explosion, my boy is back in work on his four day a week routine. And now that we've managed a couple of right lead canters, I'm going to leave that for awhile and focus back on maintaining simple straightness in that direction, at the trot. He is, after all, barely 4, with 15 rides together under our belts, and a lot of strengthening and suppling is needed to help him balance confidently in both directions. I intend to follow a piece of advice gleaned from a Dressage Today article, years ago, with Monica Theodorescu, who said the trot serpentine is just about the best exercise one can ride as it works each hind leg evenly, without over working one or the other.
I'm happy in that Forrest is giving me a lovely, elastic, connection about 85% of the time at the trot:
And the stretch that follows is just delicious.
However, I'd like to get to that lovely, stretchy, feeling, earlier in my ride and to do so, I must honestly have his back from the beginning. That means those hind legs need to be loading evenly and pushing off the ground like pistons. That means the saying we've been told a million times, with complete validity: "Ride your horse calm, forward, and straight."
Hear that, Forrest? CALM.
So, until next time, serpentines and cavalletti, here we come!