Today I had a group lesson again. I was pleasantly surprised that Kai's girth line was dry, so I only had to curry and then run a hard brush over it and he was clean. Kai was exceptionally connected to me right from the start (he usually needs to play for a little while before he gets connected). I mounted and he was giving very soft lateral flexion and softened right away. Kaila had us trot on the rail while asking our horses for vertical flexion. Kai was getting the hang of giving to me vertically while trotting. He did his best during transitions and was soft on my leg. Then he offered a super smooth canter step so I softly slowed him down and kept trotting on the rail. At the end of the lesson Kaila asked M. to go in the middle of the arena and told me to keep Kai on the rail. She surprised me by having me ask Kai to canter. I have not cantered on Kai nearly all winter and I was not feeling that confident about it. But Kaila helped me feel more sure of myself and I asked Kai for a few canter steps at a time. Kai probably felt my uncertainty and he kept picking up the wrong lead. I think I was somehow screwing him up because I was a little nervous. At the end Kai cantered a little more than a lap around the arena (correct lead!!)
I was over the moon about having confidently cantered! I gave Kai an apple and cooled him out.