August 28, 2010
I rode Jackson for about 45 minutes. I rode him in my bitless bridle and without a saddle. I just wasn’t feeling well today and I didn’t feel up to carrying the saddle down there. Lazy me, huh?
Well a brief recap, I watched a video on youtube that dealt with flying changes of lead. I showed how to use bend to help the horse understand. For the first session, I would canter Jackson on a lead, let’s say left, on a left circle, then I would slow down to the trot, ask him for a right bend, then ask for the right lead. We did this both leads. He did pretty well.
Then, the next session was cantering on the left lead, then right bend in left canter (or should I say, nose tilted right), then trotting, and then right lead. Jackson did well at that as well. He is pretty good about striking off on the correct lead.
Today was a really good day! I warmed up at the walk. We worked on lateral work, turning, and moving off the seat. We are just experimenting with that, but he is coming along well.
After the talk about stirrup stepping (or weighting a stirrup), I wanted to try it. So at the trot, I was asking Jackson to circle nicely and then to round himself up with minimal rein pressure. Actually, I was trying to turn with only outside rein pressure and my outside leg stretched down.
Several times he did a really nice trot and I could really feel him lifting his back. He also had some really nice changes of direction while maintaining roundness and rhythm (I think). That part was really fun.
Now, I am still a little fuzzy on how to do the counter canter and lead changes so bear with me, as I was experimenting. Feel free to tell me how I messed up, though.
I then asked Jackson to trot with a left bend, then change to a right bend, and then strike off in right canter. I let him canter for a little bit, then I slowed him down to a trot, then I weighted my left foot and asked for the left canter. Then after a few strides, I asked him to walk and relax. I did this in both directions.
Then I asked for a right canter, keeping my weight in my left foot, I let him canter for a little bit, then I looked in the other direction and weighted my right foot. Jackson immediately turned his head left, slowed down to a trot, and picked up the left canter. I tried not to do anything but change my seat and body. I repeated this about four times on different leads. Jackson kept getting better and better. I do understand that this might not help his counter canter.
I would love any thoughts on this.