That's what we schooled: rounding and collecting and then stretching the canter before he could drop down to a trot. I didn't catch him every time, but by the end, I was starting to get a feel for how much collection I could get before he lost his oomph and fell back into the trot.
This is gigantic. Huge. Colossal. Simply amazing. Although, we would have had it a year or more ago had I achieved control of my outside rein sooner. That's where Sydney's right lead canter comes from, control of the outside rein. As long as I am there supporting him, he can roll right into it without the need to whirl, bolt, or spaz out.
For this lesson, JL took advantage of the warm weather, and Sydney's ho hum attitude, to school some go forward … and now collect … go forward … and now collect. It's a simple exercise: slide your hands forward and ask for a bigger canter. Allow the horse to canter big for several strides, but then bring him back as quickly as possible to a rounder, more collected canter. Just before he drops into a trot, send him forward into a more extended canter. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
After several rounds of this, Sydney came back to the more collected canter with one request. It was a fun exercise, and I know Captain Awesome enjoyed the opportunity to really go forward. JL explained that this is a helpful exercise to master because when we're off the property and he's anxious, he'll be in a more forward frame of mind already, but he should remember the come back and collect exercise.
This is definitely one that I'll be practicing!