Wow... So...shame on me. I should have asked a long time ago. Or maybe I did and twisted it up again. My darn backwards twisted wonky brain. My poor trainers and friends.
I am pretty sure it all started way back when I first got Fleck. And we couldn't get the right lead canter. Yep... We eventually figured it out but I'm pretty sure he was just smart enough to make up for my fumbling. Then when I started Dan and we had troubles with the right lead canter it was always "oh, he's just green and not as strong". But I swear... the last few rides I can just tell that he's so confused and wants to give me the right lead but isn't sure. I think I'm blocking him. And I think that I'm confusing the tar out of my brilliant baby boy. And then a few comments made by Cindy about my leg swinging back and asking for the change and then I started overanalyzing... which this time worked in my favor...
Basically point is... I finally broke down and asked a very humbling question to a friend. Luckily she was super sweet and totally helped my brain unscramble.
So... I don't know how I screwed it up in my head, but... I missed a vital part of the canter aid. The outside leg. And oh my gosh!! How could I have been so stupid. It explains so much. Poor brilliant baby horse.
So yeah... For my future reference, HOLLY READ THIS!!!! ;)
When asking a horse to canter, especially a baby/young/green horse, the aids are to sit square, get a slight inside bend, and swipe the outside leg back. Like a windshield wiper. (To complicate things a little, when the outside leg swings back, it should shift my inside leg down and long and lift my inside seat bone).
Yeah... Easy. So what was I doing? I had forgotten the outside leg part and was basically asking him with the inside leg. Which, sure, in theory, they should canter off the inside seat bone lift. But he's 5. And trained by me. And 5. And green. So... when I ask for right bend, he's confused. Does she want me to canter? Does she want bend? So yeah.. totally explains that annoying skippy thing he does when I ask for right bend. Yep... "Do you mean canter mom? nope... I think she doesn't". Sigh.. Poor poor kid.
So... now, poor guy must practice the right lead canter depart on my behalf. And I think that I'm a little twisted to the left so that the left lead canter is easier to get because I'm already slightly outside leg back that way. Plus I'm sure that's his stronger side, but whether or not I perpetuated it..
Regardless, hopefully now we can move forward. KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!! Stop overthinking and mangling dressage. And Jumping too for that matter. JUST KEEP IT SIMPLE!!!
Oh... and we had a lovely flat ride despite the canter confusions. We practiced our test for the show in two weeks. Then we went for a lovely long hack with Kelli. :) Good times!