So this Sunday we were having a part jumping lesson, part training thing...so since I don't jump with Sonny the BO wanted me to ride one of her horses. Sure, fine...so I got on her 7-8 year old Paint gelding, Lucky.
He's trained in western pleasure and dressage, but can jump and is a good jumper so I saddled him up.
The BO usually rides him in a training fork (http://www.chicksaddlery.com/Merchan...001/P-1051.JPG but the one she uses has elastic on it)...but I HATE using them...it makes me feel like I can't get in contact with the mouth, gives them a false headset, and most of her horses are sooo dependant on them that htey won't listen without them. But I still choose to ride her horses without them and did so with Lucky.
I did some flextion excersizes with him, and then asked him to go on the bit. At first he kept fighting and fighting me...and at times I had to turn him in tight circles to calm him down (tried bucking and rearing on me). After a while I got fed up, so I got off and switched bits to my Eggbutt Snaffle...thinking it was his bit (a double twisted wire western bit...don't know the name of it), and he did alright, but you could tell that he was kinda hard mouthed. I walked him around until he got used to it, but he was still being rather frisky. So after he started behaving, we did some jumping and he did good...only knocked over the fence twice). Then I just was trotting him around and then all of a sudden he rammed my hip against the wall of the arena, then backed himself up into the corner, knocked over a barrel, did a half-rear, tossed his head up (hitting me in the jaw) and would NOT listen as I tried to get him to do circles. It took me maybe 3 minutes to get him over his fit and then back to normal. Sadly I didn't get to work with him anymore because then the BO made me get off, and put a young girl on him and kept saying that Lucky just didn't like me....but when I pointed out that she doesn't have him on the vertical and that she herself (the BO) that we are going to work on getting the horses head on the vertical, she said that Lucky didn't like contact on his mouth and just ignored the rest. *rolls eyes*
Anyways...question number one is: how can I stop him from having his little fits? He'll do fine and then out of the blue act up. He's fine I he has the training fork on...OR if there is NO contact whatso ever with his mouth. I know it's not the bit...cause I didn't have my reins that tight...he had enoiugh room to bring his head above the bit. He acts fine wth the trainin fork on and you have a tight rein..but not without it. I think he's getting too dependant on the training fork...it's a crutch for him and I think he feels secure with it.
Also, Lucky will NOT get the left lead (meaning the correct lead while going counter-clockwise). No matter what we try he will NOT. I've tried asking the right way....asking the wrong way...asking weird like...not asking with my legs...asking only with my legs...turning his head into the wall...turning the head into the middle of the arena...I've tried everything I can think of..but he still will NOT pick up that lead.
He does it when we lunge him, and occasionally he'll get it, but then he'll switch. I thought at first it was a leg problem, but he does it while lunging him and did it for one girl when we all were tryin to get it.
Any other ideas on how to get the correct lead for him?
Clock-wise he gets the correct lead all the time