Sammy, the Pirate Ship
We tackled something that is really tough for me today. After the walk/trot/canter, we worked on a pattern. It was even a very simple pattern, but I had a hard time with the end of it anyway.
Starting at the center line, we trotted a figure 8 in half of the arena. Then, we halted in the center, reversed, and cantered back to the start. The figure 8 was a little rough because it was the short width of the ring, and Blondie's a big girl. I wasn't giving her enough help on the turns, but the figure 8 was decently formed. It's the canter that kills me. I just don't get how to make her canter a straight line down the middle! It sounds so simple, but when I angle, she takes off and canters sideways! It's so hard without the wall to help me keep her straight.
M had us keep trying this maneuver, and after turning her around about 5 times, we finally got it right, on the correct lead. While they are in Oklahoma, M suggested that I practice patterns and just come out and ride. If the weather is nice, I think I will even ride in the outdoor arena. In the western saddle, though. It's a little more secure.