Ate an early dinner, and even debated if I wanted to fight the heat to catch & ride Romeo. I wandered outside to let the girls potty, felt it cool down just a bit, with a good breeze. I decided it was a good day to pick up the Little Guy & go play.
Saddled up Western, Western bit. I wanted to tune up his neck reining, and play at the canter. Let him goof off run around the arena just a little, I said "whoa", and he turned & walked towards me. Good 'nuf for me, let's get to work.
Bitted & hopped on him without the mounting block. He's short enough, and I don't really want him depending on it (or me, for that matter). If I trail ride him, or take him out to "play cows", I'm not always promised an easy way to mount up. He didn't move, of course, so we walked on.
Lots of warmup walk & trot, my mind anywhere but on where he was going. I kind of let him auto-pilot around the arena. If his feets kept going in the gait, I pretty much left him go. He voluntarily hopped over Ransom's lesson-set ground poles & stepped over the low crossrail. Okay, maybe he was following my eyes better than I thought.. *giggle*
Picked up a canter-right, no problems. Soared around the arena a while, then switched to canter-left. Wrong lead, wrong lead, wrong lead, wrong lead, LEFT lead! Geez, there we go. Flew about a bit, then brought him back to a walk & tried again. Wrong, wrong, left. Geez, buddy.. brain in the can, or what?!
To help make him aware that the leads do matter, I did some figure 8s in the same lead. So one circle was correct lead, one circle was counter-canter. I think Romeo quickly figured out the counter-canter ain't so fun. He fumbled around one time heading right on the left lead, and when I looked down, he'd changed it to the right. Neat-O! So, we played with this a bit.
Canter left circle
Head to "X".
Little trot, change direction
Canter right circle
He got his leads 5 out of 6 times playing this game. It's something to repeat another time. I think it will be a bit easier on his French link English bit.
Preparing to cool him down, Ransom showed me a little trick (little fart)! Ransom slipped underneat the "rope gate", and proceeded to walk & trot around the arena. I decided it was a neat time to see if Romeo could still "track" and stay with him. So I stared at Ransom's inside hip, and pushed Romeo up towards him. What a good pony! I think he wasn't real sure why we were tracking another horse, but he did it anyways, ears switching between me and Ransom. Ransom surely didn't understand why we were tracking him, and would kick up every once in a while, though not towards Romeo.
We played together for nearly 45 minutes. Fun stuffs. Hosed him down, scraped off most of the water, and tossed 'em some hay to occupy their minds a while.