Friday, March 11, 2011

Medium Canter

Rather than becoming nasty or impatient when she is in estrus, Delphi becomes extremely dull to the aids, even the more forceful ones such as whip and spur. Even her normally brilliant shoulder ins and 10 meter canter circles were dull and flat these last few spring days, coinciding with Delphi displaying all the classic symptoms of full "heat" (the estrus period is what we call "heat" or the period of physical symptoms displayed several days just before the mare ovulates in her overall 21 day estrous cycle [6 years of collegiate and graduate study brilliantly worked into a blog posting-- thank you Mom and Dad-- see: all your sacrifice to put me through college has paid off]).

To liven her up and get her thinking forward, we almost exclusively schooled medium canter to collected canter transitions today during our lesson with Karen. Delphi has a definite cue- the rider's legs come forward slightly and the rider's seat springs more horizontal and less vertical- for medium canter. Today I also backed up that cue with fluttering the whip so we developed an immediate giddyup response. After five strides of lengthened canter down the long side, I turned Delphi onto a 20 meter half circle and lengthened down the opposite long side, then developed an immediate come back response by bringing my legs back, firming my guts and bracing my back in a collected 10 meter circle. We repeated this a few times in each direction 'til we were getting legitimate canter lengthenings and returns to collection without me having to maul on the reins, but rather using my core, seat and legs to create the lengthening and collection.