So Mikey feels better after his injections. Yay!
I had a lesson on Tuesday to prep for the show this weekend. We did our usual warmup, tossed in some lateral stuff, then got back to the flying changes.
The way we've been approaching them is to halfpass to centerline out of the corner, 10m circle the direction of the half pass, repeat the circle if needed, then straight, change, regroup. Paying attention to throughness and rhythm (rhythm above all else as Mikey has a tendency to get a 4 beat canter or a pacey canter when tense).
Or something like that... considering we have no set 'centerline' and no arena walls and the arena is bigger than a standard size arena (so half pass to like the quarterline, 10-13m circle, straight on the quarterline again, change). It mostly works out to about where we are in the arena.
Mikey has figured out what the pattern is, which is helpful since he knows the change is coming, and we can work on making it better. The first few we did, his feet were slow off the ground. He was having trouble finding enough hop to make the change. He'd raise his shoulders, hop hop, no change. So my trainer had me tap him on the hip with the new inside whip (we decided to tackle just one side at a time).
So for a while it worked out quite well, half pass, half halt, circle, straight, tap, change. Clean changes too!
So Mikey caught on, and started adding LEAP into the equation. Half pass, half leap, circle, straight, LEAP, hop, clean change. Going left to right is harder for him, and boy did I find out how 'athletic' he could be. We had decided to take the circle out of the equation because it wasn't helping anymore, he'd unbalance even more as he got ready for the change he knew was coming.
One of the last passes we made left to right, he leaped into the change. Not like hop leap, like I used to be an event horse and I think there's a big table in front of me leap. I thought we were flipping over, I was just sitting up for the leap I knew would come, but holy cow he jumped into the air tossed me straight back, then pulled me back down with him and gave me whiplash on landing. Then he did a nice neat clean change and cantered off round in the new direction. My trainer was on the ground laughing. All she could say was go again. They got a bit better, we worked the other way and he tried to plow through me for the change he knew was coming (he's a little rude right to left and runs through my left aids... it's a hole in my riding and I'm desperate to find a shovel). Right now his changes all have a bit of expression as he does them (ie leaping). We're working on it again tonight, but now I'm anxious about it because while I stayed on him through his leaps, he's getting quite rude!
Mikey says, "Sorry Mom! When you said flying change, I thought we were supposed to change to flying!"