Friday, February 12, 2010

Geeez Lady, I know MY leads!

In my lesson on Monday, KAT had me do some loping in arena size figure-8's, not the circle kind, but the kind where you cross the diagonal of the arena. There's probably some fancy name for it, but I'm over it. Anyway, she had us doing this on one continuous lead so we were doing a counter canter, too. ( I think this was an excercise for us to help him collect, reach underneath, stay up right and slow down, but that's not the point of the story.) I have been very lucky that Junior has always picked up correct leads very well, minus the occasional oopsie, which was nearly always something *I* did. For example, watch the video from the September show.
For a very uncoordinated eight-legged moose, my horse just would NOT stay on a counter canter! He kept swapping to the correct lead about three strides before we'd get to a corner. I had to laugh at him.

Sometimes when I ask for the right lead he'll want to turn immediately off of the wall, so today I tried to ask him for the right lead when we were tracking left and then keep him on that lead all the way, doing more of the counter canter from Monday. He was NOT having it. Again, about three strides BEFORE a corner he would swap. I'd swap him back. About three strides to the next corner he'd swap again, even though I was careful to keep the same leg on him and stay quiet in the saddle. I did find that if I collected him a lot more he would stay for a corner, but never two in a row. It was exhausting, probably for both of us.

I know it's possible to over-use a counter canter so I didn't do much of it, but I found it interesting that he really KNOWS his leads and was clearly annoyed that I had forgotten.

Right Discipline for your horse?

I honestly wrote this post last night BEFORE I caught up with the Fugly Blog this morning (link above)....

Here's a question for you: Have you ever had a horse that you needed to change disciplines with? Specifically one that you purchased to use for one discipline, then after some time/training/etc. determine the horse was better suited to something else? OR did you stay with the discipline and change the horse?

I'm not in that place right now, but I'm not yet convinced Junior will excel in Western Pleasure, and there was a point in my life I considered doing dressage...


  1. Ya that happened with my horse Milo. I purchased him as a very green three year old with about 10 rides on him, with the plans to train him and compete in the Pinto and B system shows for western pleasure. About a year into our training he was doing great, but not having fun. So I started riding on one of our rodeo's drill teams just for fun, and he really took to it.

    Since than, Ive started training in reining, and most recently cow work, which he is loving the best. Even though he technically doesnt have any cow lines in him, you sure wouldnt know with the way he interrogates them and digs his hocks into the ground to catch one off.

  2. When I was a kid I always made my horses follow my whims. Certainly my first 2 horses learned to put up with a lot of tack changes. I was new to horses and showing and was busy discovering new things and I didn't really understand the importance of having the right horse for the job. I just thought if I slapped a western bridle on my hunter I'd have a western pleasure horse! Needless to say, blue ribbons didn't adorn my walls.

    When I chose my current horse I tried really hard to pick one suited to my discipline. I think I've learned my lesson when it comes to trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It's just not fun for horse or rider. Of course now that I've found my reining prospect, I'm suddenly not so sure that I fit the discipline, but that might be easier to fix.