Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Stop Switching Leads!
My BO has a 7 year old thoroughbred mare that does this constantly. You feel like a passenger while the horse performs an advanced dressage maneuver. Some history:
Bred and raised by the BO out of her favorite mare. This one was a handful from day one, and was slow to mature mentally. She is a lead mare and a bit of a Diva, she wont work if she doesn't like you. She scared her experienced trainer as a 3 year old when she went for training, and the trainer at the track when she went up that fall. Mentally couldn't deal with it. BO brought her home and spent the winter SLOWLY getting her used to the saddle, bridle and rider. Then She went to the track at 4, and blew everyone away during work outs, but came in last whenever she actually raced, either because she was having a bad day or she didn't like her jockey. So she came home and became a trail horse. This mare is full of attitude, very picky and excessively powerful. She is thickly built for a thoroughbred, and has one heck of a motor. She feels like riding a tightly coiled spring, all the time. Needless to say, she is not an easy ride. Fun, but difficult. Now, to the question at hand:
She is just trained basically, w/t/c/gallop, turn, stop, back. Her latest thing she has developed is switching leads. You get her into a canter in a fairly strait line, and she wants to go faster, but knows she can't. She's not pulling, just cantering along in hand. Then(within a minute), out of boredom or frustration, she starts switching leads. Usually every 2-5 strides, depending on the day. You'll be cantering along a field and all of a sudden its like stride-stride-RIGHT LEAD-stride-stride-LEFT LEAD- stride-stride-RIGHT LEAD, until you change gaits or directions. Logically this is not particularly desirable or comfortable. How do you make a horse STAY on a lead??
She's not mine, but just for my own information I was curious. You hear a lot of people asking how to get a horse to switch leads, but I've never come across the opposite until now. I've ridden a lot of miles, and on long straight stretches a horse will switch leads as they get tired, but this horse is just doing it for fun.