My pony has a new gait. It's called the tranter. It's a teeth jarring combination of trot and canter. This extra special gait comes out when I ask for more trot. She flings her head and canters for a half stride before trotting again. Over. and Over. and Over.
I will say that I had a bit of a breakthrough about her attitude where I lost my shit. Yes, I lost it. No, it wasn't zen or calm or anything like that. What happened was the pony was so tired looking that I decided to get on without lunging. I got on and did a few loose rein circles while she warmed up her muscles. Then I asked for more contact and asked her to step up. Her attitude took about five steps to increase to fight mode. And I could feel that old fear rising up fast. And I was pissed and scared and pissed that I was scared (p.s. if you're in England, I was mad not drunk...my neighbors are British and I'm pretty sure they think I'm a lush instead of just an angry person). I hopped off. I mean, I launched off that pony and nailed her HARD with my dressage whip. She spun around fast and looked at me like "Holy crap, what was that?"
"Fine. Just fine. You want me to get off? Fine, I'll get off." I grumbled and stomped over to get a lunge line. If I was a cartoon Mona, I would have had steam coming out of both my ears. I put her on the lunge line and asked for forward. She sassed me by leaping straight up into the ear on all fours and facing me.
"Oh no. Not today." I spit through my teeth as I got behind her again. "Today, there will be none of this bullshit. I am NOT having this."
Okay, there was probably more bad language than I care to admit, but by the time we were done lunging, we had an understanding. If she couldn't go forward when I was on her, she was going to go forward on the lunge. She was going to work harder on the lunge than she wanted to. Transition. Trot. Canter. Canter. Canter. Trot. Canter. Twenty meter circle. Fifteen meter circle. Ten meter circle. Sucking back? Oh, hi pony...this is a lunge whip and I can actually flick it and HIT YOU WITH IT. How's them apples huh? Is this better than trotting forward? Yeah, I didn't think so.
Then, with my red hot anger cooled to a nice banked ember glow of "Don't you eff with me." I led her to the mounting block. She started to do her old trick of walking forward and I practically breathed fire at her. "Do NOT move or I swear you will regret it. If you choose to move you will MOVE!" She didn't move. I got on. I asked for walk. She started to slug off. Then she stopped to poop. No joke, I was up there kicking and spitting and whipping and she was pooping. I think I may have popped a gasket this time instead of just steaming through the ears. I tapped her hard until she started moving and then shoved my feet down in my stirrup irons and nailed her hard. She threw her head up and....tranter. It was ugly for a while. There was a lot of crappy cantering. But you know what, there was also a lot of forward trot and some lovely transitions. And after a break on a loose rein, it only took one little tap to remind her that today was not the day to mess with Mona.
Not surprisingly, when I was putting her away she was an angel. All soft eyes and standing perfectly still, letting me brush even her sensitive belly without so much as an ear flick. My next ride is not until Thursday when I have a lesson. We can show our trainer the tranter. I'm sure she'll be impressed.