He’s definitely got the “this means change” part figured out.
Tempi changes in a straight (mostly) line
Sunday, I hauled over to PVF and participated at their play day. Flambe brought Kat with us and they had a great time. Ashke, however, struggled with the whole “there are other horses near my mare” to the point that I finally whacked him on the hip with a rein. I had his attention but couldn’t keep it for long. I started distracting him with wither scritches, which he decided he liked better than the mare. We ended up riding all of the obstacles with flying changes. Notes: I have to really remember to ride him straight forward after the change from right to left lead in the double slalom or he will dive around the pole. It takes a little bit of outside rein and a lot of inside leg to keep him from doing so. I think this is the kryptonite we are going to be focusing on for the next few months. I also need to figure out how to ride a jump in the western saddle without hooking both spurs into his sides. Bad rider.
When we went to load, Kat, a friesian Arab cross, would not get on the trailer. I think the trailer was too small. I ended up unloading Ashke and leaving him in the round pen while I hauled her home, then came back and picked him up. He was rearing and whinnying and bucking in the round pen when I pulled up to the farm, stopped moving when I hollered at him, and was very happy that I was willing to take him home. I hope to get back over there at some point before the show to ride in the arena again and maybe work the obstacles.