During my morning coffee today I read THIS great article about the benefits for horse and rider when spending more time at the canter. It got me reflecting that it really is true that during our rides at home in the arena we go for just short spurts at the canter before I let him off the hook. The trail is a completely different story, we spend lots of time taking in the scenery at a good little clip, but the arena….I don’t know there are just so many turns and it seems like we are constantly reaching the fence before we have gone anywhere.
Trails are the ride of choice for both of us but today I decided not to avoid the three beat gait in the arena. Cantering in circles it would be. And we did. And it was good. We worked on both sides. Big circles, little circles, spiraling towards and off the fence. Left is so much easier for both of us, but he does pretty well with the right also. What a I loved the most was that as we spent some time just cantering around in circles he really started to explore his body and stretch down and RELAX. It was great to see him start to get comfortable at the canter instead of just being pissed off that I am making him do it. His arena canter started to feel like his trail canter. Interesting that all it took was staying there a little longer. Not to mention it was a pretty damn good workout for me too.