The Lead Change Game

It goes like this.  He gets to make up the game, but I get to make up the rules.  First we practice a little of this and a little of that, walk and trot, then we canter.  But we’ve been cantering lots of circles lately, and circles get boring.

So tonight the game went like this.  We mixed up our canter circles, first doing a figure 8, then a serpentine.  Liam loves the flying lead change part.  He says, “Can I do it now??” and I have to say, “No, Liam. Wait until I tell you.” And he canters another stride or two as patient as he can until he feels me shift my weight. “Now Liam!” I whisper, and he smoothly changes from one lead to the other.  We canter on the right lead now and come across the middle again, but this time, we do a circle. Near the center of the arena I shift my weight, and he effortlessly switches to the left lead, but instead of turning him left, we continue on the circle to the right.  He does one stride of counter-canter and I shift again and he switches back to the right lead. This is supposed to be hard work, but it is fun for him!  I know he is playing with me, we’ve never done two changes in a row like that before, we have hardly even done single flying changes, but he feels almost giddy as we glide around the arena.  I don’t have time to think about that now though, he wants to know if we can do another lead change yet…

I knew I couldn’t disappoint you by talking about his lead changes and not showing you.  If it’s hard to see, he does two changes in a row at about 50 seconds.


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