I introduced canter to Wolfie in the school at the end of last week. Wolfie hasn't really done much cantering at all. He knows the aids and that's about it. It was very fast and unbalanced, again to be expected. It's a pretty small school which makes it more difficult for an unbalanced youngster. He put in a couple of bucks, possibly due to the saddle. I decided since the ground is much softer after the rain to get him out and let him canter in a straight line, making it easier for him to start with. I've found a nice flat length at the bottom of one of the fields where I ask for canter, the field is on a hill so I turn him up the hill to slow him down if he starts to get too fast. He's not fit, so the canters have been short, but he's been great. He bucked a couple of times on Friday but tonight he was fine. It gives him a chance to stretch, become rhythmical and I can get up out of the saddle and off his back without us having to worry about steering and corners etc yet. I thought his walk and trot were lovely, but his canter is now my new found favourite pace. He has such a long stride and it feels as though it is absolutely effortless to him. He's very responsive and easy to stop, but I'm careful to try and bring him back to trot gradually and then ask for walk. If you pull him up too suddenly or try to slow him down quickly that's when he starts clowning around and bucking and leaping. I think he's really enjoying working at a slightly faster pace, he's always game for anything, but this is fun to him. It makes me wonder what it would be like to gallop him. There will be plenty of time for schooling over the winter, so I'm going to have as much fun as I can out in the fields with him whilst there is plenty of daylight. I can already feel a difference in him since I started riding him again after I got the saddle. He's also gone up a hole in his girth. I haven't got the saddler back out yet as I'm still happy with the way the saddle is fitting and I'd like to get Wolfie working more so we get the full benefit from the fitting.
I'm trying to sort out my blog and link my pictures to previous blog posts. It may take a while, so I apologise if it's messy looking for a while.