Last night I broke a hard and fast rule. I rode the day of shoeing. I never do that. My farrier prefers it that way and so do Eli's feet. However, when he's about to have 4 days off (maybe 5 if I don't fit a ride in today) then you gotta do what you gotta do. Surprisingly he was very comfortable.
It was a light ride and I worked a bit on keeping the outside short at the canter. No major accomplishments going on here.
After the ride I was talking to a friend. We were discussing how when you "think" you are going to fail, then you do. I believe that I have that issue with the canter to some extent. Especially the first canter in the ride. It sucks and it's a flop. However, I talk myself into believing we can make a lap around the arena. I "commit my body" to the canter. I learned that phrase from a clinician that I no longer work with. Thinking that helps to some extent. I told my friend "I bet it looks like I canter my whole ride!" She agreed and said that I do quite a bit of canter. So what's the problem? It's deceiving. If you aren't really watching me, you don't see the problem. If you are just messing around in the barn, hanging out and talking you think I'm a pro at cantering. What you don't see is that I can't maintain the canter for very long. THAT my friend is the problem. How long can we go until we break? I swear I think that when I ride. That's a problem. I need to *believe* that I can canter as long as I want to. Other people can canter my horse as long as THEY want. Why can't I? I need a horse to borrow for a couple rides. One that I can just canter, canter, canter! Unfortunately I don't have access to a horse like that to borrow.
I leave for Rolex tomorrow. I'm never impressed with the dressage, but this year the WEG test event, KY Cup Dressage is being held. I will catch the last day and get to see the freestyle tomorrow night. I'm going to watch people canter. I'm going to get inspired! I'm going to figure this out. Someday Eli and I will be able to canter, canter, canter! :) Hopefully sooner rather than later.