To commemorate one of the best rides I've ever had on my horse. It was short and unremarkable for the first half...we rode in the outdoor arena, in the lovely sunshine, but Miles was not especially forward and I forgot my whip. I decided, you know what? He's not "forward" like a dressage horse should be, but he was listening and had a steady rhythm that was easy for me to post to. He was listening and supple and I thought, "F&#k it". Everything felt so great I refused to push him. We weren't plodding along, make no mistake, and he was working, but not like I know he can. I know, I know dressage sacrilege. Though I do ride in a close contact saddle:)
So began our canter work. To the left? Oh my lovely, lovely boy. I swear he has the canter I dream about. Just gorgeous.
To the right...the first couple attempts we got the wrong lead. Nothing new there. Instead of getting frustrated, or just letting it go, I simply brought us back to a walk and thought, "We WILL get this lead. We just will." So, I worked him at the walk (where I DID push him forward) and concentrated on our connection, and making sure I was sitting straight and assisting him as much as possible. Picking up the trot, I didn't need to ask for forward...suddenly it was there, and he wanted to do what I asked, I swear he did. Our issues in the past, and today, stem from me either asking him when we are not connected and straight, or (since the clinic) he doesn't pick up the canter immediately when I ask for it and ends up on the wrong lead. My timing, I think, is fairly on point, so when I felt him moving straight or slightly bent to the inside, I gave him a STRONG aid, while trying to lift my inside hip at the same time.
Holy shit, it worked. Not once, or twice. FOUR times!!!
This was a HUGE, huge breakthrough for us. I wonder now if he thought I always wanted the left lead no matter what, lolz:) I mean, it's not the first time we've gotten the right lead, but certainly the first time I felt we got it "on purpose" so many times in a row.
The best thing about today was we didn't need spurs, or a whip, or anything else. I never once got frustrated and Miles never got stressed out or worried. We listened to each other and finally figured it out, together. I love this horse so, so much.