I am just giddy. There's no other way to describe it. Giddy as a school girl.
I wasn't going to ride last night. After my Pilates session, I'm usually pretty wiped out. When I arrived at the barn, another boarder was there and the company incentivized me to pull out my horse.
We started with a fantastic ground warm-up. We played a little on-line and then moved to liberty. I had so many fantastic moments, I could go on for days describing each of them. One of the coolest things, Cricket offered a flying lead change on a liberty circle in the open arena. Too freakin' cool!
I pulled out my saddle and asked Cricket to stand for saddling. Advancing our saddling friendly is one of my current "sub goals." She stood stock still. Never moved a foot. My pony girl ROCKS!
Mounted up and did our "hurry up and wait." Nice relaxation. Headed out on the rail at the walk. She was soft and easy so I transitioned her up to the trot. Soft, cadenced and relaxed. We did a circuit or two and she just felt wonderful. And the moment was right and my horse felt connected and we came around the corner and I just asked for the canter. She picked up the canter and we cantered down the rail on the right (as in correct and right fore) lead. Downward transition not the most graceful but who the hell cares! More trotting and then a right lead canter that took us most of the way around the arena.
Back to the trot, change directions. The left bend. My current Achilles heel. Decided to go back to the Question Box. Only one problem - the pattern had been disassembled. No worries. I found the middle, where the box used to be and stopped. I asked Cricket to trot out to the rail and follow the rail around back to the imaginary box. All systems go. Out at the trot, through the "box" and ask for the canter. Easy upward transition into the canter onto the correct lead.
We finished with a little trotting and walking. More on our program of "gate friendly." With only one correction on a totally freestyle rein, Cricket stood while I swung the gate back and forth. She protested slightly when I asked her to walk off from the gate. I need to work that one out and I have some ideas.
Our only "issue" the whole session is Cricket's attitude about being on-line. She just doesn't like it. And I'm not sure what to do about it. Cantering on the 22' she gives me a choppy, four-beat canter. It's ugly. At liberty it's a soft, forward three-beat movement. Same under saddle. So what's up with the on-line thing? I think I know but I"m not sure how to fix it. Might be something to address with Carol when I'm at camp.
So my big realizations: I'm not afraid and Cricket's canter now feels like just another gait. How cool is that?!