Patient pony in crossties
That being said, the fact that Walker refuses to pick up his good lead now has begun to worry me slightly. It happened over night, and even when he was stiff on his other side, he always picked up the correct lead. He would simply not be able to make turns or full circles because of it. I'm afraid that he possibly hurt himself, and because my trainer is a really good rider, I imagine that she will be able to help figure this out for me. If she has problems getting him to canter on the correct lead, then we will know that something is wrong. If she is able to get him to canter and it feels wrong, we can call the vet and sort it out. Most likely, he is just being a brat, but I would rather find that out before he gets hurt.
My boots after I cleaned them up - back to brand new!
On that note, my barn owner said that she was watching me up in the arena yesterday. From her house, she can see part of the arena (and she has cameras so that she can watch out for strangers and accidents). Anyway, she must not have noticed the part where he was ramming me into fences, but she did say that Walker looked great at the trot. Apparently he had his head in the perfect position and she said that he reminded her of our prize-winning old timer horse at the barn in his younger years. I was pretty excited to hear this (even though he was a jerk otherwise) because it just reminds me of his potential.
Having heard that, I started to think again about the disaster bit. Obviously, that lovely head position would not have been possible without it. I find in the leverage bits that I often ride him in, his head naturally hangs lower. Of course, he was taught to hold his head low (and I think he was bred that way also because he does it in the field), but I find that in certain bits, he does it 100% of the time, whereas in the disaster d-ring snaffle bit, his head was flying up more often than not. Someone once said to me that it was much easier to pull a horse's head up into position than it was to force it down. But I'm not so sure. When you have the classic "peanut rolling" Western Pleasure horse whose nose just loves to scrape the ground (and pull you forward in your English bridle), it might be easier to convince him to put it down from a raised position. Oh well. In the normal bit that I use, I can attach the reins either to the snaffle part or the leverage part, so maybe I'll play around with the snaffle position and see if I can find the happy Walker medium.
I hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween!