Remember how Katy is really supposed to be the treadmill pasture pet? Well, she's my most advanced and overall easy to ride horse at this time. She has a show behind her and most always I can count on her to put up with my crap. Therefore, she is getting "advanced" trained probably more than I like for my sake though, not hers necessarily.
We've hit this wall with her cantering and I know its tied to her general iffy relaxation. For the most part, Katy is chill - until she's not. When she's not she's high headed, belligerent and just in general fearful. You can't do anything with her except diffuse the bomb and things will go back to normal. Luckily she's pretty self preserving so that helps but ugh... when something is bothering her, there's no uhh help? It's a full on OMG I'M DYING GERROFF GERROFF thing until she can be convinced she's not dying.
Enter her canter lately.
We're working on it being more balanced, responsive, rhythmical - SOMETHING. This requires me to sit down to varying degrees which she loathes. Especially to the left. I can't find any saddle pain and so I'm left thinking its just overall fitness weakness at this time.
Which means we have to work it.
Sarah recommends us just lunging and using side reins and I'm skeptical, but after seeing Katy through THE BIGGEST fit over the side reins, I think we're on to something. So this starts Katy really accepting the bit (to SOME degree) and the fact that she's going to be "trapped" while doing dressage and that's not a big deal. If I did hunters, Katy would probably love life but alas, I don't and she needs to chill the crap out and relax. Hopefully we can unlock her jaws of life.
Side rein sessions totally seemed to rock her world in a good way though and I see it carrying over to our half seat canters. Someday we'll get things together. And a dressage saddle might make my life easier.