As some of you know, those that have been reading this blog for a while that is, I have cantered before. I have cantered Pippi. Not a whole lot, but I have.
When I started lessons with Denise in early January, she banned me from cantering. I feel strongly, and by strongly I mean I insist, that students should adhere to the rules of their teachers. In my situation, that meant, NO cantering until Denise stated that I was ready. She was looking for balance, confidence and the ability to use independent aides before I was going to be allowed to canter. There was also the less definable "you have to be ready." I trust her. Denise is my Trainer, and her word is LAW! If you don't agree with the overall goals of your trainer, and you do not respect that person enough to follow the rules, get a new trainer. Do yourself and the Trainer a favor, and hit the road.
Both Pippi and I are learning, and growing, and we are thrilled. We both are happy to be where we are, and we have progressed to canter stage. I can now stand at the Trot without supporting with hands, and I can even use aides while standing. So Denise said that we were ready. I was so proud, and that is yet another reason to set goals and benchmarks like that. I can see progress in chunks this way, and know exactly what I am working towards. Not just the overall goal of being a better rider, but to get to canter (or whatever the next goal is).
So we tried to canter. I am not used to the longer stirrups at the canter (dressage saddle vs. Hunters previously), and kept losing them and thereby bouncing Pippi down to a Trot. She is quite sensitive to balance, and when I lose mine Pippi slows right away. Good girl! Right when things were starting to come together, Pippi flew across the arena like a devil was after her. Seems something outside was super scary. That "Spookin' Fool" bloodline, I tell ya! So since I had been riding for two hours at this point, my legs were shot, and now that she had yanked my elbow with the spook (tendon still an issue that I mostly ignore), we were done. So we calmed her down, did some more work with the turn on the forehand, and halts, but the canter trials were over for the day.
So tomorrow, I ride on my own, and now that the Canter is allowed, guess what I will be doing? I am so EXCITED!! I would like to find someone to go with me for safety though.......any takers?