Left Lead, Y U No Like Me?

The right lead has always been our problem child. We'd spend days circling, circling, abrupt shifts of weight, pushing, pushing. We'd occasionally get the big lurching right lead, normally accompanied by a few crow hops or small bucks. Even more rare would be the smooth transitions, where I would wonder what the hell I'd done right or not done wrong.

In the world of OTTBs, I've learned that this imbalance isn't uncommon. It's a learning curve.

So what the hell happened now? I get beautiful, and not so beautiful, right leads and the left lead has gone the way of the dinosaur: extinct, with reported sightings.

Tonight, I worked him a little harder. It wasn't more trotting, because I planned on asking for canter, but for a longer duration of time. We started out in the meadow, while it was being cut. Then we moved back to our regular pasture to really work. Of course, BO, who swore she wasn't going to be feeding until after seven, decides to feed then (5:30). So I have, at most, half of his brain.

After doing our trot work, our trot poles, and our brief cool down, I ask him to pick up the left lead tracking left.

He almost broke my nose.

I was in two-point, as I was trying to stay off his back for the canter until we work it more consistently, and we were doing a steady trot. I started kissing at him at the same time that I was pushing with the right leg. Also happening at the same time: BO slamming a gate and a dog barking behind Archie. He started rearing/crow hopping and my face slammed into his neck. I seriously thought I was going to fall off and with BO there to boot.

I put my big girl, oh-shit britches on, sat deep in the saddle, circled and asked again. It took about two laps of asking and maneuvering, but I finally got the left lead. Praise and stop. I didn't even bother tracking right and asking for the right lead.

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