Friday, April 2, 2010

The Lead Fairy

The Lead Fairy must have paid Johnny a visit since the jumper show. I've only ridden him twice since then, but suddenly he totally understands right lead's just about all he wants to do now! In both of our last rides we've been doing neat and clean simple lead changes through a figure 8! It seems like he finally figured out what to do with his inside hind when cantering on the right lead. He's much more willing to reach through with it now instead of just digging it into the ground and leaping through corners. I've changed around our training schedule slightly and I'm only working Johnny every other day now, instead of schooling everyday. He seems to come to the ring with a little better attitude and more energy, which makes accomplishing things like leads and lead changes a whole lot easier. On the days that I don't ride him, I make sure that he gets out while E hacks Emmy. Granted, both of my horses get out every day, but since we are on partial self care they only get out when I put them out. For Emmy, half an hour to 45 minutes is sufficient for her. Of course, she likes to stay out longer, but she won't through a fit if she only gets out for 45 minutes. She's getting old now (23 this month!) and prefers not to stand out in the rain/snow/beating down sun. Johnny on the other hand MUST have his outdoor time. Oh, he won't actively complain about 45 minutes, but he just comes to the schooling ring with a much better mind set if he can have an hour and a half or so. In the summer, when my horses go home, they will spend all day outdoors until it gets too hot, in which case they will spend all night outside, so I make sure they always get ample turnout at home. Sometimes though, with school it's not always possible, although next week I FINALLY will have a car here, so it will definitely increase their turnout time.

Either way though, it seems like the extra time has made a direct impact on Johnny's mind set and willingness in the schooling pen. Hopefully this will keep up! Tomorrow we are going to do some dressage work outside (the ring is finally dry and dragged!!) and then maybe go for a hack down the road. Next week we are going to start working over fences off the right lead and then Thursday I'm heading down to Equine Affaire :) We will see what goodies I can pick up from the clinics down there!

Yay for almost having a "real" horse with both leads established! I would say we are making excellent progress. Who knows...maybe in a few months we will be going Training Level in dressage? It's worth hoping for!

I'll try for videos tomorrow!


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