We have achieved canter! And my horse is wired backwards. Apparently, in his world, you ask for the canter with the inside leg. Outside leg to inside rein results in a counter-canter. I assumed the first time that he was just off-balance so we stopped and tried again. Same result. Then I remembered the one person on Chronicle Forums who had replied to a thread about cues by saying they had always learned to use the inside leg to ask for the canter. Pretty much everyone had replied with “You crazy, lady” but I decided what the heck, try crazy, and asked in complete reverse of how I’ve always been taught to ask. And what do you know, left-lead canter!
Lucky’s masseuse was also out this morning, riding with the BO. (Yes, Lucky has a masseuse. She just finished studying equine massage and Lucky was her graduation project.) She got a few pictures of Lucky going under saddle for her portfolio. Yet another person thoroughly impressed with Lucky’s ground manners. I said he probably figured the massage was the first time since he got here that he was receiving the treatment to which he is entitled. The BO laughed and said he definitely acted like that sometimes!
My parents were also impressed. They obviously knew my old OTTB and have been watching me ride for a while. First, they absolutely think Lucky’s taller than Benny (who was 15.2.) Lucky isn’t HEAVY, so I don’t think of him as big. The absolutely love his mind, and are thoroughly impressed with his behavior and indifference to things like the gunshot across the road. (No, no idea what that was about. Next door sometimes target shoots, but this was one shot and across the street.) They definitely think that for a sight-unseen, taken on word of mouth from three-states-away horse for $600 I absolutely got a bargain.
Did I mention it was pushing eighty degrees today?
Lucky got a sponge bath after riding. He actually did sweat up, mostly from his coat still being thick, and he appreciated the hosing. He didn’t even mind having his ears and face done, something that annoyed my old OTTB to no end. I’m sure that he was counting the seconds until I put him back out so he could find a good patch of dirt to roll in, but he enjoyed the hosing down.