Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Oh that left lead transition

Odin had yet another great week, continuing to make everyone love him.  He also told us how much he loves trotting poles.  Boy can't wait to get back to jumping.  He can start to get a little stuck by the gate, then sees the trotting poles and suddenly forward is real again.   I did capture some video, although not of the poles by the gate.

Our continuing challenge is mastering the left lead transition.

It is mostly just a patience game in continuing to strengthen him and wait for that stifle to tighten up as he finishes growing.  But in the meantime, we don't want him to repeatedly fail and get frustrated so we need to find ways to help him be successful.

He is getting it much better on the longe line, it is under saddle where it is either hit (gets it the first time) or big miss (bails at the last second and picks up the right lead instead).  He wants to be correct - when he picks it up wrong he has started trying to do a lead change to left but we don't really want to encourage that now.  One thing at a time thinking horse.

Oh and the endless arctic weather hasn't helped anything either.  Whose body wants to work correctly in ten degrees?
But who looks handsome in the striped quarter sheet?
One trick trainer R came up with this week that helped was cantering right on a circle, then basically cutting across the circle and doing a quick simple change.  The timing and relatively tight turn kept his balance such that the left was really his only option.  Yay successful left lead!

R believes it is partly still physically hard for him to pick it up but that it is also a little bit mental.  He anticipates it to be uncomfortable so he goes to the lead that hasn't historically hurt.

On the positive side, his canter transitions are coming along really well.  The amount of time between asking and getting has gone done significantly although there is still a wait.  He is usually dropping his head to pick up the canter instead of throwing it up and butt bumping has mostly vanished.

Once he does get his left lead he never swaps and R2 tells me it is a super comfortable canter.  On the right lead the swapping behind is probably cut in half.

And it is possible that I went against medical advice this week and sat on my boy to cool him out after a training ride....

Only two more weeks until I hopefully get cleared to ride!  Until then, I sadly go back to work tomorrow so I won't be able to go watch his training sessions and will just have to hear about them after the fact.  I will miss hanging out at the barn.

1 comment:

  1. Glad he is making such great progress, he is so cute!