Saddled Mo up, gave him a brief longe to check for boogers. He was insisting on throwing his head and twisting at the neck heading into canter. I tugged back on the lead rope, forced more hard canter, released to trot, and asked again. Romeo, thinking he knew better than I, whipped up into the canter, throwing his whole neck and head in a twisted weirdness. In a flash, he was stumbling, tripping, and nearly put his tummy on the dirt. I am not sure if his legs got tangled up under him, if he tripped throwing his head, or just threw himself off balance being a twit. No better trainer than the horse himself. I forced him back into canter for a few circles, released to trot, then asked for canter again. Here, Romeo learned his lesson, lightly lifting up into the canter, without tossing his head.
Satisfied he was ready to pay attention, I hopped on. We rode all three gaits, and found his trot/canter/trot transitions entirely horrendous. Heading into canter, he lifts his head up and reaches rather than pushes from behind. In the down transition, he’s so heavy on his front end that it jolts me out of the tack. Yuck! I really need to lighten his transitions in and out of walk and trot first. Hours on the neck stretcher are in order, I do declare.