a RIGHT LEAD canter!
The more amazing thing? He got it without trying for the left lead first! And then when we switched back to the left to canter that way again, he picked up the right lead again. I didn't fight him on it.
Wednesday night, it occurred to me: I'm taking him to a show to do jumping in a week and a half. We haven't jumped in two months. We should probably get on that.
So I set up a crossrail. He hopped over it without hesitation both ways. Then I took off my jacket and tossed it over the jump, because he's nervous about scary new jumps. He went right over it, no problem. He jumped it a little more enthusiastically, lol. Such a good boy!
When I got off, I was too warm to put my jacket back on while I put the jump away, so Princess held onto it for me:
Thursday, my friend came out to ride. As you know, I have three friends. This is the friend who rode him for the first time he came off the track, and again this past January 1. I got on him first and did a crossrail, a scary new jump (1' high box, 4' wide, with a jump block on each side to encourage him to stay in the middle), then cantered. Then my friend got on. Keep in mind, she hasn't ridden regularly since August, and the last time she rode was pretty much the last time she rode Riv 5 months ago.
After she jumped him, she took a break before cantering. Another horse and rider came in the ring to ride. The other horse is very excitable. Riv was chilling in the middle while the other horse danced around. After a bit, I checked with the rider if her horse was okay with Riv cantering. She said it was fine, so off they went! Riv and the other horse were both cantering--Princess's first time cantering with another horse since the track! He was a little excited, but he kept his head and stayed in control. They also cantered to the right, which took some more work to get him to pick it up, but he was a good boy.
Afterward, they trotted a couple circles each way just to remind him to relax and chill, and he was done.
So proud of my pony and my friend! I owe her $5. I told her I'd pay her if she could get a decent canter transition out of him, which she did. He picked up a left lead canter within a few trot strides of being asked.