Monday, November 22, 2010

Feeling Better and Canter Work

My shoulder is back to normal, thankfully. I started riding again last Friday. I'm trying to stick with a 2-3 days on, one day off schedule for Spider. I have to get him fit and suitable for public presentation by December 10th. Why Dec 10th? I signed up for a clinic. Spider hasn't been off the property in over a year, I figured he could probably use the experience. Plus, there's a nice little dressage community building up in my neck of the woods, and I figured I should start participating. The clinic isn't really anything special, it's with my regular trainer, but it is a chance to get out, be seen and introduce myself and Spider to the community. Which means I need to get my butt in gear so that I don't look like a yokel.

For the last few rides I've worked on canter with Spider. His trot work is just about perfect. The trot/walk transitions are smooth and he can volte, lengthen, leg yield, shoulder-in, travers and renver in trot pretty consistently. I haven't worked on half-pass yet, we were only just starting that last year. No need to get ahead of ourselves. But, I'm happy with the trot. So, now it's time to move to canter. He wants to be crooked and unbalanced in the canter. It's a fitness issue, and the only way to fix it is to get out there and do it.

I'm applying the same plan to the canter that I used to get his trot work up to snuff. Transitions, transitions, more transitions, and suppling work. Right now, I make the upward transition to canter, flex him into the circle, flex him out of the circle, then back to trot. Lather, rinse, repeat. For variety, I send him down the long side and ask for a lengthening or a leg yield. We've done a few 10 meter canter circles here and there, but he tends to come unbalanced and fall on his forehand in them.

We'll get there. I have time.


  1. w00t for a clinic. It can be a lot of fun to get out and meet people. Enjoy!

  2. Oh , I really miss clinics. Living in deepest darkest france, we don't get many of those (read NONE)!

  3. Woaw clinic how exciting! I cannot wait for your reprot. I love clinic, more than shows .. it says it all about me, I am more a student than a competitor!

  4. Good for you! Something like a clinic to motivate you is exactly what you need.

    May I suggest some counter canter as well to help Spider along. It's great for balance, suppling, and straightness. The rest of your exercises sound super.

  5. clinics are so much fun, and this is inspiring. i'm having a lot of problems with my horse's canter work suddenly, out of nowhere. things he found simple are suddenly really difficult for him, i'm going to slow down a bit and correct everything in the walk and the trot first. :)


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