Since my mare has been injured, I’ve been riding my lessor’s other OTTB, Ike. He’s a six-year-old ex-racehorse that had professional event training straight off the track. He’s a joy to ride but of course, has his quirks. He thoroughly enjoys pulling on you and is by far the bounciest horse I’ve ever ridden. Last Sunday (3/31/2019) we had a lovely jump session where we schooled some bigger fences, so he got a ‘break’ this week with only dressage rides. One of the things I was pleased with was our (re)introduction to flying lead changes. I took a bit of time out of my ride on Monday (4/1/2019) to work on preparing Ike for full-blown lead changes by cantering a circle (or two), trotting across the diagonal, then picking up the other lead on the new circle, going in the opposite direction from the first. I first saw this exercise when it was used by Holly Lenahan with her horse, Fiona. It looked like a good exercise so when I tried it, I was quite pleased with the fact that it was: simple enough but it still required some thinking.
During Thursdays ride, I worked on basic dressage work and a few trot poles. Our basic work was mostly just responsive transitions as well as walk to canter transitions. It took quite a bit of work for Ike to come back to me as soon as I asked though. He’s still young so I don’t expect it to be perfect but, he’s a smart horse and can sometimes let his brain move to fast. The trot poles were an interesting one. He jumped them. A lot. But after a while, he seemed to get the hang of not becoming a bunny.
The last ride of the week happened Saturday. Ike and I worked on some canter sets and just had a fun, low-key chill ride. We tooled around and popped over a couple of poles, ditching the agenda led to a great ride!