Before our trip to Florida, I wanted to try the new bit on Roscoe. Unfortunately my Dad brought home a cold bug from my cousin's wedding and shared with us. I was low on energy and Roscoe was totally lazy. I really want him cantering better and tried to use a pole to help with the transition, but it was not successful.
I looked up to see my Mom coming armed with a lunge whip. Awhile ago I asked her to ask Roscoe to canter from the ground while I was mounted. Watching Alanna and Emi work and quickly progress gave me ideas. Supported by seeing others use the same method with young horses. We used ground support when we started him, but did not go as far as canter.
From when he was first backed
Roscoe saw Mom and he knew what was expected. I literally could feel the change in him. His attention went from me to her. I kept him on a circle while Mom directed him to trot both ways. Then the moment came and she asked for canter. Holy Cow! I needed a seat belt. That was the best canter I have ever felt out of him. It was a bit frightening, especially when he headed for the mounting block. I had a hard time just being a passenger. I stopped so Mom could clear the path before changing directions. This time we went left, his harder direction. I relaxed more and could enjoy the awesome pony working below me. Roscoe kept himself on a circle around Mom and picked up left lead. If he began to look flat, Mom tapped the whip and he reanimated. I finally felt the movement we so often see in him at liberty.
I was missing the western saddle this ride
I also realized he has been holding out on me. Before this, I worked really hard to only get a quarter of what he gave during this ride. We have to teach him that he is capable of that super movement. Over time we will transition from the ground support directing him to me asking. I gave small cues when Mom asked for stuff to start that process. Overall the process worked better than I expected and was eye opening. I can't wait to ride him again. Forward, real forward is the goal.