Amber has been doing so much better than I expected lately. When I first got back on her after she had been off a month with her lameness, I thought I was going to have my hands full - it was like the training I had done had completely been wiped off her harddrive!
But it was like a lightbulb came on one day and she's doing better than ever.
Her circles are great. She's super responsive to my aids. Leg yields with the lightest pressure. Gaits are all balanced, consistent and straight. Her transitions are also super clean.
My trainer had us start working on walk-canter transitions last week after seeing our progress. She gets them within a couple of strides of trotty-canter (tranter?), but I can tell she is confused about it, so I've been trying to not push her too hard and get her frustrated on them.
I've been using the corners to ask for them, and I have been doing trot-canter transitions both ways right before I do them to get her listening more for me to ask for canter.
She's always been a pretty automatic ride with her leads, and she never really had a serious "bad" side, and now I've worked her to the point where both directions are consistent...so we won't be tripped up on any of that, it's just a matter of getting her to understand what I'm asking for. I think the work I did with her right after she started back might have contributed to her trouble understanding...she was out of shape (still needs a little conditioning yet, but she's toned up some!), and she didn't want to trot. So I was getting walk-canter transitions all the time, but I spent a lot of time working with her on not going from walk to canter.
Poor mare is probably like, "Make up your MIND lady - do I trot or canter when you ask for an up transition?!"