It was a "wish we'd had the video camera" day. Jen was over to offer up her eyes and wisdom. Harley and I dressed up western, and he warmed up very nicely. Neck stretcher work was a little longer than Friday, since I wanted to make a little more sure he was stretched up and ready to work.
I hopped on, and we had a nice set of trot work. Jen pointed out, "Time to improve your posture. Sit up, lift your chest up." I then realized since the accident, I've been caving my whole upper body in. A habit I must certainly break. I felt the burn in my chest muscles as I stretched out. Yeowch. With my chest up and heels down, our trot was particularly nice. Harley responded with a few strides at a time of a long&low collected trot. Fantastic!!
I told Jen, "Well, we have to start somewhere." I squeezed with both legs, and kissed to him. Harley pushed into the canter, as if it wasn't even an issue. He didn't hesitate, he didn't speedy trot first, he just cantered. more, he didn't reach up into it, and he didn't leap into it. He just changed his happy little legs into a canter movement. Wow... I cantered, um, 7 or 8 strides heading to the right. I reversed direction, and did about the same to the left, maybe a stride or two more (he broke gait, totally my fault, but went right back into it). It wasn't a full circle, and my posture stunk. I was leaning forward, I couldn't get my body settled into the canter. Harley will require participation on my part at the canter, but probably only in the form of leg contact. I don't believe he's going to need the driving seat that Ransom did. Once we add collection or "on the bit" canter, this may change.
What I noticed about his canter, is how steady it is. He isn't driving forward, he isn't leaping up with each stride, he's very flat. It's smoooth. Fantastic!
Rode for about 30 minutes total. Asked for a few left-right flexes, and he was super stickie going into them. Light as a feather once he started turning his neck, but very hesitant to begin the neck bend. Something to work on.
Homework - More Canter, and Flex him at the halt until he's light as a feather again. Chest up and out, heels d-o-w-n.