That's great! Good work, both of you! I hope that the canter will become your favorite gait.(As it is mine) I don't know how you feel about bareback, but I know that when I am learning something new I want to be able to feel what the horse is doing directly. That might be something to think about too. When I try a new horse for the first time like to go bareback if it is feasible since I get a better read on the way they move like that, which helps me feel more secure in the saddle since I can't feel well in the saddle. I have an idea of how they move so I know what is normal and what is not for the horse. It keeps me calm, I guess. Anyway, sorry if that doesn't make sense. :P Just out of curiosity, what does Lacey's canter feel like to you? As in, what type of motion is it. To me, Deja's is like a rocking chair. A very steady back and forth motion with only a bit of up and down. While my friend's horse, Zorro's canter is more like riding a see-saw. Not very much ground cover and alot of up and down motion. I find Deja's canter very easy to ride where as Zorro's canter made me tense since there was such a jolting motion to it.
I'm still kinda working up my courage to try and canter bareback. I'm not very comfortable with trotting bareback yet so I kinda feel like I should practice that more before trying the big "C" but I dunno. I think she'd probably be super fun to canter bareback seeing as how she's wide like a couch and has a back that's basically made for riding bareback, but I've just let my fears get the best of me. I might try it tomorrow since it's supposed to be hot out so I'm going to wear capris to school and I don't really want to tempt the saddle to chafe my legs. So, any riding I do will be bareback, I might just work up my courage, especially after how well we did today... Good idea! I betcha that once I actually canter bareback (since I've never done that, ever, before), cantering in a saddle will feel like a way smaller deal.
She has an interesting canter. It's kinda flat. Like she doesn't have a lot of suspension but she covers a lot of ground. It's not rocky or uncomfortable, it's just really flat feeling. When I can get her to slow down and work under herself more, she actually does have a nice rocking motion to it, nothing too big, not too small, just right.
But, currently she doesn't have a bunch of elasticity within the gait and she doesn't know how to respond to my requests for her to change out of the yuckier canter to that nice canter. It's something I hope to get straightened out this summer, if possible. I think maybe the hardest part of her canter right now is the fact that it is generally so flat feeling, like there's no really obvious rhythm for me to cling to, which I desperately need.
If/when I try bareback, she might surprise me and whip out a really nice soft canter. She does that for me sometimes, like when we trot bareback, instead of leaping into a trot fit for the races like she does when I use a saddle, she just delicately steps into a nice jog. So, she might surprise me. She's really an excellent horse, I don't even really know.
I actually do do most of my riding in a rope halter with rings on the sides of the nose band for the reins to attach to.
I totally agree with you, RawhideKid, about having to be inside each other's heads at a completely different level when you're riding in a rope halter. I used to ride with a bit every time I rode but for about the last 9 months I've done all my riding in a rope halter or in an "indian bosal," and let me tell you, we have SO much more finesse and delicacy in our communication now. It's really an amazing thing. She's so much lighter and more sensitive to my cues, definitely soft, it's crazy. In a good way.
Have fun with your day of riding tomorrow! :)