Front Legs and Back Legs

Our most recent discovery is that Liam does actually have 2 sets of legs, and he can yield BOTH sets!  Previously, the shoulders and front legs were very maneuverable, but the hind end mostly just trailed along behind wherever the front end went.  Our friend Mandy came to give us some pointers last week and helped us to understand that we really need to concentrate on getting that back end to move over on command.  I never thought I’d be riding my ottb with a whip, after all he has plenty of get-up-and-go, but I found myself making a special trip to the tack shop and buying Liam his very own shiny new dressage whip.  And when I tried it out, I slid my outside leg back and asked him to yield his haunches and when the shoulders started to drift, I went tap-tap with the whip on his hip, “These too please Liam!”, and wonder of wonders, he says, “Oh! Well, why didn’t you say so in the first place!” and over they went!  So we practiced walking straight down the long side of the arena, then moving the haunches in for a few steps, then straight again, then in again.  Then we celebrated with a big canter circle, and repeated the other direction.  A success!  Of course, with time will come finesse, but at least now we are communicating with the front legs AND the back legs 🙂

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