I'm sure it sounds silly to exclaim that we cantered, but . . . we cantered!
First, here's a picture of Mac's new digs.
You can see that he's got a nice big paddock to walk around in and a stall where he can go to get out of the rain or have a nap. In the paddock to the left you can see a chestnut mare looking at Mac. As far as I can tell she stands there all day staring at him. It must be his dashing good looks!
Ok, now on to our adventures!
I've taken Mac out for canters/gallops on the trails, which is really fun, but I haven't actually cantered him in the arena until Saturday. Cantering on the trails is easy and fun - it doesn't matter what lead you are on, you have a wide open trail ahead of you (depending on the trail, of course), and the horses are keen to go.
Because Mac is green and learning how to steer and move off my leg, etc., I haven't tried to do the canter under saddle until now because he didn't feel balanced enough to not careen around like a motorcycle. Since moving to the trainer's he has been very good and since he seems to have somehow retained everything we were working on before AND actually shown some improvement, I thought there's no time like the present. It also helps that he's been kind of jumping into the canter when I ask him to trot so I think that he's mentally ready.
The first time I asked I think he thought it was a mistake because he picked it up and then went back to the trot. The second time I asked, though, he picked it right up (correct lead, too!) and we did a couple circles. I was so pleased that we finished our ride on that good note and walked out of the arena for a little trail ride.
Our first lesson is tomorrow.
Here's Mac learning how to stand quietly in the cross ties. This picture makes his head look really big and his neck look really skinny!
And here's a picture of him looking handsome.