We started up again and made sure we still had the canter. Since resting, he lost his impulsion and I had to patiently build up from a weight shift when I squeezed to a canter. However, it only took 3 minutes to achieve light transitions and he was getting the right number of strides for counting strides. I transitioned into the figure eight with simple changes. Since the pattern is new, there is no track, so he had to work a little harder to do the pattern in the fresh snow. He was still quite maneuverable.
I got down and Blu followed me around at liberty while I moved cones and equipment. I attached the finesse rein to the leather buckle at the ring of the snaffle—not on the snaffle—for a safety net. Then we began to do the figure 8 pattern. It is safe to say that this has gone out the window a bit. He used to be so good at it. Toward the end, he was picking up on past sessions and I could see him connecting dots. We did get something new—the canter while I was in zone 5! It was so easy for him, I didn’t think about how impossible that would have been for him 4 weeks ago (before I started this cantering program) until just now! Today, to change direction, I had him stop in the middle, settle, I change sides and off we go. I made the rest shorter or longer and sometimes did not change direction because the feel on the circle was not good enough. Maybe we can try it at true liberty some time soon . . .
Blu followed me at liberty to his pasture and then to his stall. It felt like a good ending.
Natural Horsewoman Out.