Alw did her hardest work ever yesterday. OH and I had the very, very rare chance to ride together so we went round the 10 mile block (it is the normal route for our horses but Alw has only done it a few times and very slowly as it is around 1000 foot of ascent, mostly off road and with some tricky going) but we included some faster work and a couple of little jumps on the common on top of the hill.
We now reliably have 2 separate gears in canter, a really good walk that can be maintained for much longer without the tired jig jog and a much improved, increasingly rhythmic trot that has push from behind and a bit of spring! Jumping tiddly jumps seems a complete non-issue which is lovely and I was delighted to find that young Miss can canter over really varied going in a very good balance and rhythm.
Cantering slightly downhill over undulating ground she did get disunited once but sorted herself out without any fuss at all.
Last time she found cantering over less than perfect going a bit tricky and she had to do some quite drastic re-arranging of her legs which was interesting to sit out!! Sheep, kites, buzzards and feral ponies are not a problem for her now either. Poor love was completely pooped when we got home BUT she answered all the questions we gave her and I was delighted with her. It is pretty essential for me to have a horse that is clever and confident over tricky terrain as well as happy to canter in open country alone and in company. Obviously this can only be achieved by working slowly which I have been doing but at some point you do have to start asking a few more questions about where you are at in your training and yesterday was the day.
I have no gripes at all and chuffed to bits with my mare but I am counting on her getting fitter, slimmer and hopefully a bit faster yet!! A couple of days off now and then I hope to get some flatwork started a bit more properly. I am so glad to have saddle sorted, teeth done etc as we can now plan a bit more stuff.