Echo had a day off yesterday, as do most of the horses at the yard on a Monday. However, with the revolting weather today, I wish I had worked her yesterday and given her a day off today; we have had strong winds and driving rain today - nice.
I decided that as the weather was so horrible, I would just lunge her indoors today, and see if I could get her to canter on command on the lunge. I have never intentionally asked her to canter before and I was worried that if I asked her for the first time when riding, she might get upset and stressed by not knowing what to do. I thought it would be better to teach her the voice command on the lunge first.
It was pretty successful: she was on edge because of the wind, so naturally more forward-thinking, but she got the idea straightaway. I was very clear in my command and got after her with the lunge whip the first time, then after I had brought her back to trot, I asked again and she cantered immediately.
She has been finding the left rein very difficult on the lunge recently, although this improves when I ride her, and so I didn't ask for much canter on this rein. She was rather unbalanced, and could do with a bigger space to canter in to establish the canter on the left. The right rein was much more successful and she cantered calmly and in balance.
By the time I finished the session, I could have ridden her, as she was very chilled, but she had done enough work really. She had to stay in for a bit longer, as she was having back shoes on later in the afternoon. This is a big relief, as she was starting to develop a hole in one of her back feet as well and I am sick of being paranoid about her soft white lines. I have been inspecting her feet with the scrupulousness of an archaeologist - picking and scraping every millimetre. At least now I can stop worrying quite so much! She behaved impeccably for the farrier again, despite being in a new part of the yard and the driving rain. I think my farrier is quite taken with her, as she behaves far better than some of the horses who should know better!
Today's dilemma is more to do with the saddle. I am keen to buy a new one, but am not sure what type or size to get really. Her present saddle is a wide fit, so I assume, since it's rather tight, that she needs an extra wide. I may have to get a saddler out, although this seems rather unnecessary as she will probably change shape entirely in three months' time. She seems to be eating my money without any trouble at all this month!