When asked what I'm working on today, I sound like a broken record. My answer revolves around the same thing. Getting the left lead. Feeling the left lead. Keeping the left lead, and all the other stuff that goes along with it.
Wondering about the last one? It's not just keeping him going, Koda has a talent for switching back to his preferred right lead willie-nille. Might be at the beginning, middle or near the end of our lope. Anything can trigger it. A dip in the sand, my wandering mind, or nothing at all. Sometimes it's obvious to feel, sometimes it's not.
So now that I've conjured images of loooong stretches of never ending loping circles to the left, day in and day out, rest assured that never happens. We always do a lot of different stuff, every ride. It would probably do us some good to focus our rides on specific area's that need work. There are plenty to pick from, but that's not how I roll and neither does my horse. We both like to mix it up. The only thing that feels like work, is his left lead. The rest of it feels like practice. Fun practice.
Why does every thing have to be over analyzed, and perfected anyways? Seriously, it takes all the fun out of riding. I want to have fun riding, just being with my horse. Practicing moves, and yes - working on some things that need fixing or tweaking - so that we can have even more fun. But all work and no play makes Aurora a dull girl. I suppose ones definition of work, and perception of fun, plays into ones state of mind.
After not seeing us ride for over two weeks, our trainer popped over to the arena to chat and we happened to be loping at the time. She was very complimentary on Koda's positioning, and our lope in general. It made me feel good that I've managed to work on myself, because trust me - my horse knows exactly how to get his left lope and continue correctly.
I mentioned how odd it was that now Koda's left lope feels better then his right. The right side feels off. She said that happens to trainers when balancing out horses. So now I have to strengthen the right? Since I always lope both directions equally, it never occurred to me. I clearly don't have a trainer mentality. However I will be the first to admit I really dial in my focus getting/feeling/keeping/collecting/softening/rating the left lead, because the right has always come so easily.
Well, I guess now I can change my answer. I am working on strengthening myself while loping to the right, while practicing everything else - and of course, having fun!
Dr. Pimple Popper, Veterinarian Edition
20 hours ago