Counter Canter-ish

The weather outside was still bitter cold and snowy a few weeks ago, and had no end in site. I needed to have a solid counter canter on Ava before the middle of April and we were nowhere close to “getting” it.

In jogs the Western Rider.
WR: “What’s your horse’s deal?”

Me: “She’s frustrated”.

WR: “Why’s she keep taking the wrong lead?”

Me: … “I, uhm, I want her to.”

WR: looks at me, then spurs horse to trot faster.

Why is it that dressage is the only (horse) sport where the “wrong lead” can be the right one? And I’ll tell you a secret, okay? I’ve always felt like counter canter was borderline OCD on the ‘controlling your horse’ spectrum. I mean, seriously, my horse will flip leads just to have that inside leg leading, and my response is to say, ” Ha Ha, screw you pony! Do it the hard way!” I almost feel evil about it.

I understand the long term benefits of it, so we’re working on it.

Last weekend we were able to use the outdoor ring with no one else around. I made sure all other riders were far, far away. That no prying eyes could secretly watch us moronically flailing around the ring on the wrong lead.

Do you know how many goof up’s, or gross looking tries, it takes to make counter canter look easy? My, uh, “friend” was wondering. 😉

Monday, we did get half of a corner without breaking, or switching leads. I know it sounds dumb, but gosh darn I was proud!

Tonight, we’ve got our sites set on a whole corner (not two, just one). Assuming the western riders, jumpers, and other assorted riders/watchers don’t fall down laughing while Ava and I careen around corners. Wish us luck (we need it)!

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