Back at it

Still a bit nippy out there, but at least sunny and very light winds, making things a little more inviting.  I tacked up and got on, skipping the lunging since he is having a minimum of 16 hours a day turnout.  He was fine from the start and we had a nice walk warm up and then on to trot.  His trot is a little tight, and that is part of the problem for his canter departs.  When we look at the dressage training pyramid, which is a good road map for training, we see that relaxation is one of the fundamentals.

So today I spent a fair amount of time working on him going forward with relaxation in trot, and in bending properly to the right.  I used spiral out on a circle to the right and leg yield to the left as well as simple 20 m circles, sending him forward to a steady but elastic outside rein.  He did very well with this, so that when I got to his canter work, he was successful in getting the right lead pretty consistently.  Odd to think that the canter can be solved in trot work, but the fact of the matter is that his right lead canter is actually quite acceptable.  It is only the transition that is hard for him.  When we help him with his relaxation in trot, he can organize his body more easily for right lead canter depart.

That said, when he is in canter to the right, when he is reminded by his rider, with the use of inside leg and a steady outside rein, to use his inside leg, the canter improves markedly.  Another good day.