Counter Canter, Again

Today I spent some time on the counter canter again. Here’s a list of everything I’ve tried so far:

Walking Ava on the pattern and moving her hips away from the wall to turn her shoulders toward it. This took several tries before she understood what I was getting at. We then cantered it and completely bombed it. Hips were NoT going to move at all. I went back to the walk, repeated it several times. Back to canter with marginal improvement.

I then decided that X to the wall was too steep an angle, so we tried straight down the quarter line then to the wall. Again, no success. I decreased the angle again by getting closer to the wall. No success.

I then determined it was my weight placement that was screwing Ava up. So I took my stirrups off to force me to sit correctly. Things improved, but Ava still flipped leads in front.

I tried cantering down the quarter line, walking and then turning her toward the wall before cantering toward the wall. She flipped the front lead again.

Etc., etc…

So today, due to arena constraints, we were on a 20 meter circle and I figured screw it… We’re just going to pick up counter canter for a couple strides, walk, counter canter, etc until she will at least do two strides without throwing a hissy fit. And you know what? She did it! I patted her up really good, made a big deal out of her being good, and let her walk on a loose rein for a bit. After a short break I asked her to counter canter a couple of strides around the corner and she did it! I gave her a ton of praise and a walk break.

This issue is only when going to the right. I’m not having any problems to the left.


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