Wrong lead? Nah! It’s counter canter!

Counter canter! Yeah! That's what we're doing! Counter canter!

Well, tonight’s ride only went partially as planned.  I was looking forward to my lesson, and showing Christy what I’ve been working on for the last few days.  We did earn some nice kudos – the left lead canter was really good – we had a decent transition, and I was able to show Christy how I’m getting better at really riding the gait – keeping the horse forward, getting him to step out and under himself, and holding the contact and getting him to move forward into it.   We got a gold star on our homework for that chapter, but we turned around and flunked the next one.

The weirdness started when we switched direction.  I had been getting some nice work this direction recently and felt that I was making real progress on the canter depart … but tonight wasn’t the night.  I was doing something new and strange – we couldn’t pick up the right lead to save our souls.


Okay, we did get it a couple times, including an unscheduled walk-canter depart (seriously, where’s the fruitbat?) but more often then not, I was putting him onto the wrong lead with alarming consistency.

We had some decent moments. I'm pretty happy with this canter attempt.

We worked at it, and revisited bending, and Derby grew more and more resistant on the right rein.  I knew then that somewhere, something was wrong with how I was riding, and I got confirmation of that fact when Derby started to resist naughtily, spooking at a corner and refusing to to bend.  I put him on a small circle, and doubled back, inching him back towards the corner – but I was getting tired and didn’t have the strength to really kick him over.  Then he tried to pull some of the same crap on the long side.  I smacked him with the whip, sent him forward, and we did some small 10M figure 8’s at the other end of the arena, and then headed for the end where he had spooked, bending on a serpentine.  No avail, he did it again.  I turned him in tight circles, keeping his feet moving, and was furious with myself and I’ll admit it, with him.  At this point, I was almost exhausted, so after he walked and halted nicely I called it a day.   However, ideally, that wasn’t the right time to end.  I have squeezed myself into Christy’s schedule tomrrow night, and we will revisit these issues!

About Sarah Skerik
Sarah Skerik is an experienced digital business executive and strategist with a long track record of success in team leadership, employee development, marketing and business development.

2 Responses to Wrong lead? Nah! It’s counter canter!

  1. Steph says:

    Is he getting bored? Oliver starts acting up when he’s getting bored with what we’re doing, but when he’s interested (like last night when we were doing an obstacle course thing) he is gold.

  2. Sarah Skerik says:

    No, he wasn’t bored. It was the same sort of thing Frank pulled on me once because I stopped riding. I was getting really tired, and he could tell, and he took advantage. It wasn’t a big deal – just frustrating – because I didn’t have it in me to handle the correction and do what I really wanted to do – get one more good right lead transition. This sort of thing has a lot more do do with the rider’s riding than the horse’s mental state (IMHO!)

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