Horsey Therapist

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Flying changes

My dear Rusty...

He's offering me flying lead changes out on the trails now. This is a first! What does it say to me? It says he's feeling confident enough, balanced enough, and loose enough to change his diagonal at speed with me on his back. I can't really put into words how this affects me, that he can do this, but it does. Affects me in a good way. Like, I'm pleased as punch!

I even saw a chance to suggest a lead change as we cantered through this ancient overgrown hay field this afternoon. And there it was. Just following a change of thought and his body went with the change from head to tail.

I started noticing on this semi wild and very long trail ride last weekend, how he was offering a right lead canter pretty often on the latter part of the ride. Then finding him changing not only from right to left (previously seemed his preferred lead) but today changing from left to right!

Leslie Desmond and Harry Whitney have helped me think about this in ways that suit my lazy approach to horsemanship. (Not truly lazy but in some folks eyes it may look lazy.) If the horse is comfortable taking care of his balance, and if the horse is responsive to my suggestions of speed and direction, then he will initiate a flying lead change when flowing with my request to change direction at the canter. I just have to let him do it.

Mind you, I do not have aspirations of changing leads going down a straight line in an arena someplace. For that I might start wanting to manipulate his body with my seat and legs, etc. I'm pretty content these days to help his mind carry his body to some place of my liking. It can be sooooo sweet.


At 06 October, 2006 12:36, Blogger ZinniaZ said...

Go Rusty! This surely deserves a w00t!

Lazy Shmazy. We're all driven by different things and find the horses and people who can go there with us.


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