With Sydney, I am really working on transitions into the canter and then schooling the downward transition into the trot. Now that I am focusing on not just getting the transition but improving it, I have reached a whole new level of feel. I love it!
As I cued Sydney into the right lead canter, I got several out of the starting gait canter departures. It didn't even phase me. I sat up tall, and brought him back down to a trot and asked again. The third canter departure was perfect. He heard me whisper, and rather than bolt into the canter, he gave me a super soft and light departure that was quiet and lovely.
I can now maintain the contact no matter what he does. This allows me to keep him under control without ever dropping him, which gives him confidence. I am really looking forward to the next time I can take him to a show. I think we're finally getting it!