We've been dinking around at First Level for more years than I'd like to admit. I'm ready to move on. We could tackle a Second Level test, but I am not interested in moving up a level if we can't even eke out a satisfactory 60%.
So Speedy and I have been hard at work. The simple change is the skill we're really trying to confirm. He's got a pretty cute walk to canter, but the other half of the equation, the canter to walk, is not quite where it needs to be.
The other issue is his wildly swinging haunches. He doesn't have to sit if his butt is in the next county. The other day, I finally put both reins in one hand and just tapped the holy heck out of his haunches behind my left leg until he pivoted around his front feet. He was more than a bit peeved at me, but it worked. The next time I asked for a canter to walk, he halted with his butt squarely beneath him. Aha!
After a few rounds of that, I got a very tidy canter to walk. It wasn't perfectly clean, but effort was written all over Speedy's face. He was genuinely trying to balance himself and keep his butt squarely beneath him. Even though I wanted to try a few more, I patted his neck enthusiastically and hopped off.
Like I said, that dude just makes life fun!