|Tallahassee from Zombieland|
Mia responded to my canter cue by trotting. Uhhhh.... I asked for a canter again, trot. Well, at least she wasn't taking off I told myself. I gave her a pretty solid kick in the ribs and brought her down to the walk. I messed with her head position and made her do some lateral work, if she was going to ignore me, she can try ignoring me through dressage. After a few minutes I bumped her up to a trot again and asked her for a canter, this time she want into a fast trot for about 6 strides and picked up a nice left lead canter. It certainly wasn't an arena canter as it was a bit fast and not completely balanced but I also wasn't holding her position for her and it wasn't an actual hand gallop. She maintained the canter for about 4 strides before dropping back into a trot. I laughed and told her I will take a going problem over a stopping problem! She got a treat and a good rest for her effort.
After a walk break I asked for a canter again. This time she gave me the canter right away but also trotted right away, apparently my not holding her in a frame and making her accountable for herself is hard for our girl! I asked again and got a canter for about 6 strides before she broke into a trot. Again, this is not a bad problem to have. We got to the last third of our ride where there is a pretty decent hill going up in the road. I took the opportunity to use the hill as a way to canter and she picked up the canter and held it the entire length of the hill. Success! While she did shy away from (STICK!!! LEAF!!! ROCK!!!) nothing 3 times in the canter, they weren't bad in terms of a sideways scoot and I didn't feel like I lost control so I will take that victory.
I am very proud of Mia and also proud of myself. I have no idea why I was so anxious about cantering her outside but I really had to force myself to do it and I am glad I did. I need to do it again this weekend to prepare for our schooling next weekend, how exciting! There has been some changes, however, in our schedule. After schooling I am away for a weekend. Our May 4th show has been cancelled by the event holder and so I am now bringing Mia to a clinic for a dressage and xc lesson that weekend. It will be her first time hauling out alone, first time hanging by the trailer all day and first time being required to do something once we get to our destination other than being adorable. The following weekend, May 11th, is TWH's first show ad it is a big show, a horse trial! I have my work cut out for me, time to get riding!