...try, try again!
Last night I did a second attempt at jump schooling Koda through the simple gymnastic of 3 trot poles, 9' to a cross rail, then 17' to a vertical. After talking to my old coach back east, she mentioned to try it again if he was feeling forward. As we warmed up, Koda was feeling very forward and into the bridle. I was happily surprised and tried another canter transition on the flat. He did his strange head low thing, then into a canter where I balanced him and a way we went! It was quite nice. So, we have another piece to the canter puzzle - it's not the gait that's the problem, it's the transition. Either way, after warming up and doing some flat schooling, we got started on the grid.
First off, just trotted through with the crossrail up, vertical down as a ground pole. No issues, completely willing to go through. Went through again, asked for the canter after the crossrail, got it after the groundpole. Hmmm...well, got the canter, just two strides later than expected. Ok, well, he went forward through, straight, no qualms about it, let's try a small vertical of about 1'. Going through the grid, cue for canter, get a weird 1.25 canter stride, and pop over. This happens a couple times until I clue in - my distance is wrong! So, I shorten my distance to about 15', try it again and voila! We keep the vertical up and get our striding.
After going through a few times from the left and right (getting BOTH leads!) we called it a night. Was very happy with my boy, knew his "FORWARD" was in there somewhere!