My canter departs suck.
This is my current inner monologue when my instructor mentions the c-word:
“oh good lord, ok… um sure, I can do this! working trot posting…with energy but not out of control…ok now sit three beats of the trot, suck in a big breath, support with inside leg, swipe outside leg, there is a tiger chasing us please please please”
This usually produces one of two possible results:
Option A: (most common result) Horse tactfully translates my poor excuse for an aid, explodes into canter, I get left behind the motion (every stinkin time), horse hauls me forward where I finally regain at least a passible seat, and we continue until my seat decays into overzealous thigh squeezing which horse interprets as a decent reason to break into a trot or I lose my right stirrup.
Option B: Horse has no clue what I am asking, practically startles at whatever uncoordinated “leg-swipey panic thing” just occurred on his back and tries to offer a faster trot in case that may have been what I wanted or Horse ignores glorified potato sack with helmet on and takes advantage of the situation by running out in a fast trot and innocently looking at the instructor like “well, if she wanted me to canter why didn’t she just say so?”
Oh, how I desperately want to get this right! It is just so hard to relax while simultaneously focusing so hard.