I am set up to take him to a trainer for 30 days in Feb/March to help me with some of these fine tune issues. And for pain issues, he just had the dentist work on his last week, and we have a chiro/vet health exam set up for February, before he goes to the trainer.
I haven't done much riding now that winter has hit and the ground is frozen and hard and it's dark at 5:00 PM ...... But! When we were riding on a regular basis, the light bulb had come on for his simple lead changes and he was nailing them 95% of the time.
When he's listening to me (Red sure has a hard time focusing, that's our main battle) he is quite sensitive and soft with his sides. When he's paying attention, I can steer him completly with my legs.
He also has this uncanny ability to lope in circles on the wrong lead. I would think it would be uncomfortable for him to do so (as I have let him do it sometimes, trying to see if he gets the "hint" of how uncomfortable it is) but he just hasn't figured it out yet.
I don't need him to be a world-caliber reining horse. But it would be nice to do things correctly at small local shows. I primarily barrel race, but I do enjoy doing other events and I do want my barrel horses to have a sound mind.
So when you teach flying lead changes to a horse, what cues in what order do you do?