It cracks me up every time Trainer B talks about the Canter into Doom.
I can’t help imagining cantering into to Mount Doom.
It’s really just a long approach to a single fence. There’s a looooooot of time to think, second-guess, re-evaluate, enact plan b, overthink, and go for plan z during those long approaches.
For me, that usually means I start out well, probably half-halt and/or pick too much, lose the rhythm and impulsion, gun it to the base about three strides out, and then heave a sigh of relief when Duke manages to make it work and get to the other side.
It shouldn’t be that hard. And it’s not, really. It’s just hard to be patient and trust the rhythm. Which is why Trainer B will either help count out the rhythm or make us do it out loud.
I actually find chanting and/or singing a really effective way for me to keep the rhythm in the canter. “One, two, buckle my shoe” is always a good one.
But my favorite is “Uptown Funk.”
I don’t know why, but the rhythm of that song is ideal for cantering. And it adds a little swagger to my attitude, too.
Here’s a video from our lesson last week, cantering into a Doom Oxer. In time to the strides, I can practically hear myself thinking, “Up, town, funk you up. Uptown funk you up (jump).”