Really? I suppose it would be the video I got of me and Royal cantering on the left lead. He's always had problems with it, although it's been getting better. I filmed this to send to an Instructor, and got pretty much no feedback from it, other than "how has your riding changed since watching this?". So, as usual, had to go and solve my own problems.
Why I don't like it: I have a lot of excessive movement in my upper body and my butt keeps coming out of the saddle. Royal has a tendency to canter on the forehand, which makes nice riding really hard. But, like I said, it's been getting better and yesterday was a nice breakthrough.
After lab (I! Had! Crystals! Go me!), I went out to the farm, hoping to do some riding. The arena still has a few wet spots, but nothing too serious. I put on both pairs of his splint boots, and, just for fun, the royal blue bell boots. Combine the cotton pad with royal blue trim that I use under my Theraflex, and my horse has more matching accessories than I do. He did a bit of the goose-stepping with the hind boots and didn't really know what to make of the bell boots, so my ground warm-up/pre-ride check mostly consisted of convincing him that he could still move like a sane horse with all of this stuff attached to his legs. Once he was suitably sure of this, it was time to ride. I decided to use my show bridle and just kept the noseband really loose. We looked like a Reale Englishe Horsey and Ryder, instead of the unkempt and wild pair we really are.
I tried out the Cloverleaf pattern at the trot, which he started to get pretty well. The indoor is too small for canter; that'll have to wait until I can use the front field. I also played with contact, which Royal had become a lot better at tolerating. He used to basically panic with even the slightest hint of contact; now he just kind of chews on the bit in a perplexed but pleasant matter. It's times like these I wish there were a mirror in the arena, since I can't really see what's going on. Maybe I should sent up a video camera.
The big breakthrough came at the canter. As you can see from the video, Royal tends to canter with a high head, and often goes very fast. So, I use the Game of Contact to try to help him lower his and canter more on his hind end. I wasn't trying to get him to stretch all the way, just stop looking like a llama. It didn't take long for him to start cantering better and give a big snort/sigh going to the right, but the left was a big more challenging. He kept breaking gait, trying to counter-canter, and got emotional. I just hung in there until I felt him start to relax and start to lift his back. Good boy!
Of course, my little cotton pad was absolutely filthy after the ride, even I got Royal as clean as I possibly could. And he had some dry spots, so it's time for more shim experimentation. But he was still a fabulous boy.