Mixing Things Up

Liam was in a very cooperative mood today.  He had been thinking about yesterday’s ride all night I think, and he had the leg-yield thing figured out.  As we began our trot work, we warmed up with big trot-little trot a few times around, then we turned up the quarter line.  Almost before I had time to think leg-yield, over he went, beautifully straight right back to the wall.  Wow!  We went around and back up the next quarter line, and over he went again!

Wait a minute Liam.

The straight part was awesome, but I don’t think I even had a chance to ask you for that leg yield! And suddenly you feel like an awfully proud freight train in my hands. Here you are dancing sideways like you know all the moves… surprise pony! There’s more.

So now we go straight up the quarter line.  Then the next time, we go up the quarter line and leg-yield the opposite direction we normally went, so we cover 3/4 of the arena going back to the rail.  He did not like that one bit! “You’re doing it wrong mom!!!” he screamed as he tossed his head in the air.  Next, Julie had us take the center line then leg-yield to the quarter line then turn back towards the center line and do a circle, then continue on the quarter line to leg yield back to the center line.  Whoa! Liam was blown away.  But, after the circle, he quit pulling, and humbled, began letting me tell him where we were going again.  The rest of the ride went much smoother after that, we just needed to mix things up a bit.  Once he quit anticipating, he stayed much softer in the bridle and responded better to my half halts as well because he was looking for my instruction.  That made him much easier and much more comfortable to ride.  And, I gotta give him credit, the leg-yields were looking pretty good today. I just have to stay smarter than my horse!

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