We had a brief lunging warmup, in which he was dang near perfect, then worked in the arena at all gaits. I don’t know what to say about him, other than that he is just feeling more solid, a lovely thing. After arena work we walked down and trotted and cantered back up the hill.
Then he got a walk out and a rinse and some more peppermints.
I brought her in from the paddock where she allowed herself to be easily caught. We worked in hand in the arena for about 20 minutes where we discussed the idea of focusing on me and not everything else. We did this by going forward and coming back multiple times, and she clued in quite quickly, and then started putting her head down and licking her lips.
Then I tacked her up, insisting that she stand still with her neck down. She actually did quite well with standing still, but had to be reminded several times to keep her neck down. That’s pretty good!
Under tack she did quite well in all gaits in the arena.
We went out with Kristen on Sif. Archie led for the first half of the ride in all gaits and he was very good. In the second half of the ride Kristen led and he was very good with just one moment when Kristen cantered off and he got a little strong. He didn’t do anything naughty and settled quickly. Very good day.
I rode him out with Kristen on Sif. She needed to work on her horse leaving another horse on a trail ride and her horse being left by another horse on a trail ride, so we got a lot of trotting and cantering in, as well as waiting around while she went away, during which Leo got to eat some nice prairie grass.
In our forays away, we addressed right lead canter, which is a little harder for him, so he tends to ignore the aid for it as if he doesn’t hear. Probably a fitness thing. It works to put him in haunches in, or one could think to remember to use the outside leg to hold the haunches steady. Attention to keeping the outside seat bone back also helps.
We worked in the indoor with Archie and Megan for a while at walk and trot. Then we went for a walk hack down to the end of the gravel road. Then we had some walk, trot and canter work in the prairie. I see what you are talking about with the right lead. He would rather take the left, so even if your timing is right, he waits a beat and takes the left. I carried a stick (ok, a boxelder branch that I snagged) and used it once lightly behind my right leg on canter depart for right lead and then he was spot on.
I worked with Leo on the flat with Kelly on Elsa and Megan on Archie. We worked in all gaits and Leo did well, though he mentioned that the load of hay that was standing in the middle of the arena looked delicious! Then we went on a hack around the meadow, using all gaits and he was great. On the way home we all stopped and let them graze. I took off his bridle and let him eat a bunch and also hand-picked him some for enjoying back in the stall. Nice day for all!