The good is that he did take the canter, the correct lead, and it looked clean depart.
Couldn't see why he dropped back into trot the first time, but one of the times, I think the third canter, it almost looked like you were posting before he dropped back down into trot. The last one looked the best.
The biggest issue I see is the horse is not moving forward or thinking forward. He is just plodding along at every gait. He is not putting any effort into it either. At one point, he was even backing up when you asked him to go forward.
IMO some work changing his speed within the gaits will help you to motivate both of you. Make him do a forward, marching walk. Change his trot to working and ask for medium. Spiral in and out while keeping the same rhythm.
When you get the canter - go forward using the whole arena, don't try to keep him on the circle yet until you can keep him moving. Once you get canter, keep on at least three full times around the arena. You both need to build up some muscles.
He is just falling out of the canter, not making a downward transition. That tells me he is deciding when to return to trot, not you.
He looks very lazy, but I'm not sure he really is. Wake him up and get him moving. He is a nice horse.
Thanks! Yes, he's never really been a forward thinking horse. I think most of the issue with him dropping out of canter is we spent so long on the ground in the round pen working on the depart, i'd ask for canter have him do 5-10 canter strides and ask for trot. He's become so used to only doing canter for a few strides that he falls out of it regardless if i'm kicking him or not. It used to be worse, he used to do maybe 3 strides and then throw the breaks on so hard to a stop i'd fall forward, at least he's falling back down into trot now instead of slamming to a halt. He used to throw himself into the canter, there was no finesse; a lot like him falling out of the canter he'd charge at the canter in the trot and fling himself into it, legs flying every which way... awful, so at least his depart looked okay :)
I've been working him in the round pen and making him canter 3-4 circuits of the round pen without stopping, trying to get his brain into doing more strides. My whip will definitely help when i'm on him.
I'll do more changes of speed within gaits to motivate him and try to take the canter to the full arena. I was keeping it on the smaller circle to keep him calmer and head off the bucks when they were happening. I need to learn to trust him more and ask for more strides, more speed and more power.
Him backing up was his way of saying "hey lady, we were done ten minutes ago, it's hot in here! let me be done". He has a horrible habit of backing when he's not getting his own way, usually a smack from my stick will get him moving forward again but i didn't have it on me. He does it on trail too, it's very annoying. Teaching him to back was the worst thing i could have taught him.