He is a recently gelded 7yo and is generally level headed, not a spaz or "spooky", but he is "sensitive" to the aids (which makes him wonderful to ride). He seems to like me because I am always trying to keep him relaxed give him confidence. My daugther is trying for this too, but has a more Type A personality than I have. (She also is not as experienced at dressage although she is nearly 30yo.)
It has been hard to figure out his personality but we would both now agree (after owning him for about 6 months) that he has some insecurity issues when being ridden. If he is not positive where he is supposed to be going or what's going to happen next (or if someone is driving up there), he will sometimes abruptly try to "take over" (flip to the inside or outside and take off). We've managed to get his confidence at the walk and trot and he no longer tries anything at those gaits. He gives us beautiful circles, straight lines, 3-step turns, nice halts, several different trots upon request, beginning leg yields (for me), nice collection (for me), etc, but now that we are trying to work more at the canter, he's gone back to his "flipping" ways, and because it is at a faster pace (and now has bucks added in) it is more dangerous. And as I said, he is getting worse for her (although better for me).
Soenjer55 thank you very much, I think you are correct in your assessment. I'm just not sure how to manage this. Today I had her go back to the trot and just work on that: relax, relax, relax, bend, bend, inside leg to outside rein, repeat, repeat. I really don't know what she is doing differently to the right than to the left so I'm not sure how to tell her to prepare him better in that direction. Maybe just no cantering for awhile and working on controling that wayward shoulder better at the trot? I've encourage her to spread her hands to get a better "feel" for how to control his shifting weight and bend but she doesn't seem to be getting it well enough to continue it at the canter.
P.S. He definitely has what we have fondly been calling "CDC: canter departure confusion". That too has improved with me but not with my daughter.
Last edited by Myya; 07-31-2012 at 04:30 PM.