I rode in the morning today to beat to heat and did a lot more cantering. Jessica, Chester's owner, was there and decided to watch my lesson. I started by riding several trot serpentines around the dressage arena and focusing on making him straight and turning his head toward the inside.
Next, I trotted down the long side and rode across the diagonal of the arena, changing my diagonal at X. Chester was being really good and responsive today. After trotting around for a bit, I was ready to do some cantering. I worked on the lungeline first, heading to right. Before cantering, I worked on transitioning from a slower trot to a bigger, faster trot, then back again. After a few times, I asked for the canter, riding an entire circle.
After that, I trotted around the arena, then went through my dressage test. This time I would ask for a faster trot again or a canter stride if I was ready. For the first 20 meter circle at A, the one heading right, I didn't get Chester to canter, but I got a few strides to the left, which is supposed to be his harder canter to ride.
At the end of the test I halted and saluted at G, patted Chester, and let him walk for the bit. Then I made a 20 meter circle heading left at A. I rode a faster trot on the part that you canter during the test and a slower part on the other half. I worked up to ending the lesson by cantering half of the circle. I didn't even hold onto the saddle or the mane when I cantered off the lungeline. Cantering is now my favorite gait. I'll likely be doing more of it in future rides.
I won't be riding next week because I'll be at summer camp so I won't post any blog updates. Happy Fourth of July everyone!