Luc had a bit of a vacation this week as his owner, my sister Jen, was out with a nasty cold. I don’t think it was any kind of hardship for him. If given the choice I think he’d like to be retired. I can totally relate. I did think his time off might translate into a little bit of freshness during our ride, and for the first two minutes he had me convinced he was going to explode any second. His head was up, his eyes were bugged out and he was completely ignoring me. I pushed him forward and by the time we made it halfway down the long side of the sand ring he had completely relaxed.
I had remembered to bring a crop with me this time, but he was nice and forward (in a good way!), so I didn’t’ end up needing it. Apparently if I want Luc to be active, I just need to give him a whole week off before I ride him! Unfortunately I don’t think that’s going to work for Jen, since I’m pretty sure she wants to actually get to ride her own horse.
Since I had a nice forward horse I decided to attempt some flying lead changes after getting Luc all nice and warmed up. The thing is, Luc doesn’t really do flying changes, unless you’re jumping and he feels like it. It’s not so much an on command type of thing for him. I am determined to change that. Just not this week!
I started with some simple changes across the diagonal. Luc was great. They were clean, quick and relaxed. I thought today was finally going to be the day I got a flying change from him. Nope. Wishful thinking on my part. I asked, he ignored, and we ended up with some lovely counter canter instead. I suppose I should be grateful he has such a nice balanced canter that he can so easily canter around on the wrong lead. I tried a few more times. Still nothing. During one attempt I think he considered swapping. He rounded up nicely, slowed his pace and I was sure any second I would get him to flip. Nope. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
I should point out that this is not the only time I have worked on flying changes with Luc. I have tried working on them over a pole, across the diagonal, down the centre line, and the list goes on. I know he can do them, and I know he understands the command. My sister has managed to achieve success on a few occasions. I’m thinking I’m going to have to do a little more research on other training methods. Anyone have any suggestions?