We were having a problem with his trot. It felt like right hip issues again.
I switched from Smartpak's Smartflex II, to Vet Flex (recommended by my vet) and I am wondering if the Smart Flex didn't work better for him.
J could see the slight hitch too. It might be the stifle from the much earlier surgery, but I think it is probably the hip.
He felt pretty tense, but listened well in the mechanical hackamore. I tried lunging him first, but he really didn't need it. I would have thought he was sluggish, but every time we turned for the gate he moved better.
I think I'm going to like the hackamore a lot on trail.
However, if we are going to be competitive in WE, then he has to go in a bit.
I bought a very simple, short shanked curb bit today to see how it works. It has a very low, wide port. I may ride him in it tomorrow to see how he goes.
Not tracking up at the trot. He was being pretty squirrelly, since there were two horses in the parking lot being tacked up and a horse riding around the perimeter of the property that Ashke was very distracted by.
It took a couple of turns around the arena before he really began to feel calm.
Then we tried a canter in both directions. At the end here, Ashke spooked and tried to take off, which is why we abruptly stopped.
So distracted today.
Then, to keep it fresh and real, we worked on some of the WE obstacles.
This was the first try at the poles. The last time we tried it, he moved so smoothly over the pole that all I really had to do was sit there and direct him.
Then we worked on the two barrel obstacle pattern.
We do the simple lead change in between them.
He has the idea and knows he's supposed to change leads when moving to the other direction.
We just need to get smooth and calm while doing it.
And get a one stride lead change.
Then we worked on the three barrel obstacle.
It's not a clover leaf pattern, like barrel racing. It's circling the right side barrel, looping around the upper barrel on the left lead, and then circling the left barrel on the right lead.
He was doing better toward the end. The difficult part will be getting the one step transition from one lead to the other. I wish I could get him to do a flying change of lead.