PLP, you’ve made some great progress! Wow – she’s not rearing – such great news! She’s coming along nicely!
I think backing off of the cantering is a good instinct, gradually increasing it as she maintains good behavior and you gain confidence in each other. It takes the time it takes, no way to hurry it, but you’ve already made great progress.
It is a puzzle about the circle cantering – is it in both directions or is there a directional bias? I ask in the event it is painful to her from an injury that isn’t detectable any other way. For example, I have a horse that has tendon issues, I check her with a tight circle walk/jog EVERY time I get her out. If she offers resistance or tries to reverse, it’s a signal that she is feeling weaker on that side. If this is the case with your mare, it could be something that only crops up when at a slight angle on that one side. In which case a vet will need to come back out.
Re vets – some are excellent at detecting lameness origins – back, tendon, hoof, hock, etc, and some have strengths in other areas. I was fortunate to have an excellent lameness vet when I had trouble, I had been advised to see him by a true friend, otherwise I’d have kept going with my old vet who was not able to give my mare what she needed. That lameness expert saved my mare. It’s important to find a vet who is good at lamenesses if you have a mystery on one side and intermittent. It takes a person who can see things others don’t – a head bob or one foot hitting harder or quicker on one side, for example. (But all this info is only needed if you have resistance on one side) I really doubt that this is the issue – just included it on the off chance…
Thank you for the update – I’m so glad you are making progress!
Re the trainer – it usually helps to have another pair of eyes – I hope you will get some great tips. Your mare is lucky to have you.
Alois Podhajsky: “When I hear somebody talk about a horse being stupid, I figure it’s a sure sign that animal has outfoxed them. ...