So, background first:
I was recently bumped up to a new lesson horse, one a bit younger than my previous horse, and one who was not a "made" western pleasure horse. In fact, let's just call him green in the western pleasure aspect of his career. Hemi is a very willing horse, and we are clicking together and getting our act together nicely now. Not a first, lol, but now we are on the same page (or at least in the same chapter).
And now to today...
We've worked hard the past few weeks mostly at the jog, and with him lowering his head and maintaining collection. Cantering/loping had been on the back burner for now, we can't do everything at once, after all. Today, my instructor told me to ask for a canter and he just clicked- he went off in a nice slow lope and he held it. My instructor was like look! Look! He's loping! We were all a bit surprised at him, haha. Oh, he's not magically "fixed" or anything, I don't expect him to go right back and lope off like that every time from now on, but it was quite satisfying to have him do that for me today, and I had to share it somewhere!
Hemi did pretty much the same thing with his jog, he just did it one day, and now we are reaching that jog better and better every lesson. To see where we have come in such a short time, he had such big movements (still does), he had a big jog, practically a trot, and this huge fast canter, all strung out, and now I am seeing that pleasure horse that my instructor could see all along and I feel like we have something here. I was so worried when I first got on him that I wouldn't be the right rider for him at this point in his training, but I'm learning fast that I can do this. We have a long way to go yet, its not magic and butterflies and pretty ponies, but I feel like we are doing so well. Yay!