Today was the first time I [intentionally] cantered with Moe in a few years and I am pretty stoked. A little back story, if I may: I have had Moe for about five years and we went through a rough patch which I sprained my hip and my arm, (on separate occasions.) It wavered my confidence greatly, and it took me a full year just to be able to ride him without shutting down. We figured his problems were caused by an ill fitting saddle and then later also found his teeth were in need of a good file. But here I am a few years later going on trail rides and standing up in the saddle, (also note that this does not occur at the same time. ) Today was the first time where I actually felt like 'I am ready to canter'. I had the same 'go for it' feeling earlier with trotting, as well.
I believe of all things Moe was quite surprised of what I was asking him. My trainer told me to just get the biggest trot out of him that I could and he would sooner or later offer to canter. I trotted a lot around the arena, more for confidence sake. It was a lot of pressure when people sort of expected me to just go, so I trotted until they figured I wouldn't do it. Knowing my creature, the second I kissed to him he was going to transition into a canter, I sort of refrained from cuing him.
It was quite simple with him, not much urging involved. I kissed to him maybe twice and he took off into a huge gait that I could hardly sit! Of course seeing as neither of us have cantered for years it was a different feel. I nearly plopped off so I ended up slowing down again, but I asked him another time and felt pretty good about the product so we left it at that.
That feeling of accomplishment is great, and overcoming a fear that has held me back for years is no less than amazing. I do feel now that I can do so many things that I couldn't before. For those who are fearful there is hope; a year ago I would have broken down simply from the notion of the most delicate lope. Even my previous lesson I told my trainer that I simply could not do it when she proposed the idea. I may have only cantered a few strides, but it just shows me that my goals are closer than I would have thought even earlier today.
I probably clocked 9 hours of riding in over the weekend on my spotted rump hero, and it was probably good help. We led a trail ride with around eight other horses on Sunday, and Moe isn't exactly the fondest of other horses, nor is he with leading the expeditions of said unknown horses. On Saturday we worked in an outdoor arena with about ten other horses as it was pouring rain outside for part of the time. It was a good build up to a successful lesson.
I know I wrote quite a bit, but I just wish to share my story for those who feel like they need a miracle. Just remember that things tend to go faster when you take your time. Get your horse vet checked, buy a properly fitting saddle, stay in school and don't do drugs; does that cover it? More photogs to come, ;3