So, if you were wondering if I was going to ever canter – yes. I did canter, in fact. I cantered last week, and I realized that I am the one whose not ready to canter. I find that if you put enough energy into wanting something from your pony, sometimes they just offer it up to you -like oh hey no big deal here’s that thing you were longing for in your innermost soul.
I noticed when I got on in the ring, that Comfort was ready to G.O. GO! And I thought she was just being an out of control freak like she usually kinda is, and in reality, I think she was kind of reading my sadness and had diagnosed me and come up with the solution that not being a control freak rider and just enjoying the ride would probably cure whatever the heck was wrong with me. We worked on going over a jump which she immediately knocked over, so we actually just practiced walking and trotting between two jump standards over a pile of crushed dreams shrapnel. I was making a circle to go to the jump the last time, and I felt something different. I think that it was Comfort trying to lift into a canter, but I brought her back to trot immediately. I twice I felt her inside shoulder come out differently, and I think it must have been me feeling her take just a single canter stride. Well I wouldn’t dare let her canter in the arena – because I am scared it’s too tiny of a space even though I have absolutely safely cantered her in the arena quite a few times.
I got off and I decide we needed to go to a big field and face our fears and just let go and canter. I was really really sad about my grandmother and thought that somehow finally cantering Comfort was going to be the cure. Comfort obviously was also on the same page. After lots of fussing about me getting back on, I walked her down to the lowest corner of the field and asked for her to trot up the “hill” – aka pasture that has a slight incline. Then I asked for a canter – and I mean just barely. I am not sure if I just sort of squeezed her a little or if I even did that much. I don’t know how she even knew I wanted a canter, it was almost like she knew what my heart wanted and didn’t care what my leg said it wanted. After thinking “canter” Comfort basically just went for it! She gave me a perfect, completely in control, nice paced, lovely, willing, fabulous, comfortable canter. I am so thankful for her giving me this, because we both knew it was what I needed. Now is cantering your pony in a field going to get you to the next show? Absolutely not. But it did give me my confidence back – which I lost from a supah nasteh fall, and I am so excited to canter her again and start to got more comfortable at this gait.
In the in-between time, I am going to start riding my barn owner’s horse for practice so that I do not start developing green pony habits. I think I am going to realize a lot about my control freak self after riding a school horse again. looking forward to that reality check so I can be a better rider for Comfort.