Thursday, April 25, 2013

Riding Diary - 53

Ride: So, I snuck out to the barn on wednesday when I should have been studying (bad, bad Louisa) but honestly I was going pretty stir-crazy. When I got there a lesson-group was warming up and I asked my trainer if I could sneak in - yipeee, she allowed me, and it was a barrel-racing focused lesson. I was pumped. Jingle and I have been working on barrels alone, in anticipation for the upcoming gymkhana season that I want to dip my toes into, but the second I ask him for any sort of speed.. bye-bye-pony.

For not being ridden for a week, he warmed up like a star. "Yes, those of you who remember my horse running me into walls, look how wonderful my horse is now, look at his beautiful headset, suck on this." Then my trainer asked me if I was going to allow her to ask me to lope again, I gave her one of these faces "-__________-" we we're working on slow stuff, ooooo-kaaaayyyy, and told her that yes, she had permission to allow me to lope again. I am a bit of a brat, I tell ya.

Jingle picked up his right lead perfectly and away we went around the arena, he was actually being really nice and listening to my checks and leg.. which is impressive as his right lead generally turns him into a fire breathing dragon of "fun". I've mostly been trotting the pattern but a couple of weeks ago I had Jingle trotting 1st and 2nd and then loping to third, breaking down before the barrel into a trot, turning it, and then loping home. He was actually doing it marvelously, so my trainer thought we should try that to see how he was. Well, it wasn't as marvelous as it had been before, he wouldn't break down into the trot right away, which caused a half-loping mess around 3rd... that's not pretty! regroup.

From there, we attempted 1st barrel, lope to 2nd, lope to third, attempt to break it down, or if not, turn the barrel twice and lope home. After a couple of attempts, including my trainer handed me a crop so I could lightly pop his shoulder when he attempted to take too-wide of a berth around third, my horse turned into that dizzy mess he often does when speed is introduced. My trainer was just laughing and said that we'd lost Jingle's brain again, and that it was time to go back to slow, because clearly we needed to work on the slow stuff before we could ask him for speed. (story of my life) We broke it back down to a nice jog or trot and worked at the pattern from there, and he did really well by the end of it. I was able to regain control of his pea-brain, and he was able to figure out how to pick up his shoulder and nicely turn a barrel. Despite his "Hey mahm, I've seen barrel horses enter the arena sideways from the alley and then gallop off, maybe I should do that across the entire arena?!"

My trainer left me with some homework For Next Time she wanted me getting Jingle's nose following my hand, especially when we were loping, because he does it perfectly at the trot. She told me that first off, when I'm loping the rail, at every corner in the arena she wants me to come off, lope a small, tight circle, and then lope away, at every corner. Second, she wanted me loping half the arena and then coming straight down the centre, and then off again, because Jingle still has a hard time carrying himself very straight at a lope, and needs practice.

Today I went out to see my boy with this homework in mind. My horse was a freight-train at the lope. excellent. but I was determined to keep going. See, with all this slow work and time i've spent on Jingle my horse can now move off my leg pretty damn nicely, we have our pivots, turn arounds, sidepassing, rollbacks.. all of that, is pretty much down, but only at the slower gaits. Now that he knows how to do that, I feel as if we can leave Kindergarten and welcome him back to the world of speed in a nice, calm way. Yep, No, Jingle don't play that game. Jingle is a cyclone, intent on ripping up the arena from within.

It was hard work, I think both of us kept looking at eachother like "WTF are we doing?!" I was sweating buckets and so was he, but by the end of the day, my speed-demon was loping around my hand in the corners, and not being too much of a strung out idiot about asking him for more speed. I was happy.

We left the barn and ambled down the road (I was in my T-shirt, hurray! is this spring in Alberta finally?!) Jingle's birthday is tomorrow and in my family, the tradition is that my mom always tells my birth story to me on my birthday. Well.. Jingle, I'm not your "real" biological mother so I don't know that story (I'm sure it goes... somewhere out in a field during a shitty day in April, you managed to survive the birthing process) but I found myself telling Jingle the "story of us". I am a sap. I know. As we ambled down the road I got to the part of this last summer where he had gone missing and was nowhere to be found and completely choked up and burst into tears. There was a lot of petting and his ears were cocked back and he kept looking back at me. haha poor boy has a psycho for a mother.

Anyways, as I was sobbing and telling my horse how much I loved him and how much he meant to me, two massive dogs came bolting up to the fence line and scared the shit out of both of us. He turned on his haunches and jumped right out of his skin and away from that fence line. It took me a bit of time to get him slowed down and stopped. Great metaphor... As is our life together, one part sappy love story, one part hysterical ridiculousness.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Love Letter to Camp Counsellors

My friend, Sarah, posted this article by the Globe & Mail on her Facebook yesterday, entitled "Why being a camp counsellor is great training for becoming a Prime Minister" by Joanne Kates, it instantly caught my attention. Why? because, of course, I was the ultimate camp-kid, my first day-camp experience was when I was 6, then a stay over camp from 8 until 15, counsellor from 16-18, riding leader & "barn boss" from 19-20 until the very sad closure of my camp after this last summer... my summers from age 16 on were camp, nothing else.

The premise of the article is that the Conservative government is attacking Justin Trudeau in a series of ad campaigns that show his many jobs that render him unsuitable to be prime minister - one of them is his time spent at Camp Ahmek in Algonquin Park as a late teenager. Now, perhaps the baby Trudeau won't make a wonderful Prime Minister, but is this in part due to his time as a camp counsellor? I highly doubt it...

The Author states that the Conservative's have made a mist-step, since being a camp counsellor is an important, and high-skill job. She then goes on to list the qualities each camp counsellor has to have, and where those qualities and lessons are created in a camp setting. These examples are ones that every camp counsellor knows well... "Put 10 young kids in a cabin for a week or a month. It can be a powder keg. Sure, camp is fun and 99 per cent of children adore it; but there are inevitable - and sometimes intransigent - struggles." and "Maintaining order and discipline without descending to authoritarianism requires walking a fine line. How do two counsellors put ten children to bed, teeth brushed, faces washed, kindness reigning, all in under an hour?"

Performing a skit at Camp-fire

Well.. I can answer that, at my camp it was the fine balance of bribery, sternness and love. I fondly remember moments of, "Girls, if you are in bed in less than 5 minutes, I will read you two horse stories tonight, instead of just one!" but there was nights too where the kids crossed the line and went from hyped up on sugar, and restless, to plain disrespectful and rude - mob mentality of 12 year olds - and I can still remember the sting of my own counsellors saying to us kids, "I'm really disappointed in you guys, I've decided that there will be no nighttime activity tonight because I am simply too sad, and hurt. Please go to bed now." The lights would flick off and we'd all sit under our sleeping bags whimpering... disappointed...? The word "disappointed" is perhaps one of the most effective words in the English language. Of course, I (as a counsellor), and my counsellors of old, would then go spend time with their counsellor-friends, not being sad, or hurt at all, and by the next evening, the kids would all be little silent gem's, sparkling on their pillows, waiting for a bedtime story. Where else can you learn how to handle a group of swirling dervishes as effectively as that?

At my camp, half the day (and 90% of most little kids minds), focused on horses. I don't know if Justin Trudeau ever had to deal with kids plus horses, but the equation sure is an interesting one. During any morning we could have up to almost 40 kids huddled in the aisles, petting, brushing, saddling and taking out their horses getting ready to ride. Then throw in inexperienced young counsellors. Sometimes, it was mayhem, but it was always fun. Animals, especially horses, in my opinion, teach kids patience, respect and kindness. Our old crotchety mares would let the kids know when they were displeased, kids had to learn to watch out for little nips here and there, kicks and thumps, kids had to learn how to be aware. Such an important lesson. The horses also taught kids how to listen, and how to communicate. It wasn't rare to wander around the barn and hear a little camper whispering to their horse, sometimes it was sweet, "I love you, you are MY horse!", sometimes it was them sharing with their horse, "Today at lunch we had Mac and Cheese!" and sometimes it verged on sad, "Mac and Cheese is what my mom makes me when I'm sick, and I kinda miss my mom this week", and sometimes it verged on scared, "Please don't bash me into a tree today, okay?"

Just as horses taught kids, kids around horses taught us. A counsellor had to be patient, kind, and slow at explaining tough concepts. A counsellor had to be calm, assist when necessary, and let kids do as much as they could on their own. It was a tightrope, with a big horse on one end, and a itty-bitty-little fresh-faced 8 year old on the other, and you had to always walk one line, or another.

So, just as the author says, camp counsellors learn key concepts, lessons and qualities at their time at camp. This article really sums up for me why we did it, we we loved it, and why we'll never forget it. I always tell parents that camp is the BEST choice for kids - for me, especially stay-over camp, allows kids to learn how to be "independent" while still being taken care of and watched over. It forces them to make friends, but the counsellors are there to facilitate friendships with other campers if they struggle. It teaches them who they are, without parents, family, or the outside world that they know almost too well around.

For me, truly and honestly, being a camp counsellor completely changed my life. By the time I went to interview to become a camp counsellor (at my highly competitive camp, that is exceptionally hard to work at), I was taking steps down a bit of a murky, dirty path. Once I got the job, Camp picked me up by the back of my neck and swung me right onto another life path and it thumped me right down and said, "you're going to do well, but you better pick up on this stuff real quick, the kids come tonight." 

I am forever thankful for the lessons I learned there, the qualities that camp has given me and the life-long friends I am made.

Monday, April 22, 2013


I am all hunkered down studying for my last finals of my last year of University, and I'm really missing this guy...

Why does "life" always come in the way of horses? One day, life will be horses, I tell ya. 

Sometimes it strikes me how much my life has changed this last year because of him, how can one life be so wrapped up and intertwined in another. Love ya Jingle.

In that train of thought, one of my most favourite songs is Corb Lund's "She Won't Come to Me", only Corb Lund could make a song about a wild mare, sound like the most beautiful love song. Of course, I couldn't find a video for the darn song, but look it up - it sure is nice.

"She won't come to anyone whose frightened to be free
She stiffens and she shivers
and she wheels and lopes away across the unfenced sections,
I won't catch that mare today.
So as I roam the prairies for a chance to try again
Behind me through the grasses drag, the braided leather reins..."

I am sure am a sucker for some melancholy western music... So, I'll leave ya with another great Corb Lund song, (that I could find a video for on the 'ol youboob) :)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Tack Issues & Where We Are Now...

When I brought Jingle home, I also brought home a brand new saddle - a Jeff Smith Cowhorse, that I really, really liked. It was a bit too much money, but it was good quality, and it was pretty, and I thought that me and my boy deserved it! I also purchased a Classic Equine ESP pad.

Shortly thereafter, I decided against the ESP pad - way too thick, and didn't conform to his back at all. This was when I first noticed "slipping" of my saddle, I contributed it to the pad, and purchased an SMX Professional's Choice Contoured Pad, seen below.

It was at the same time that I was riding Jingle in a D-Ring, Three Piece Snaffle with Copper Roller, and a noseband, to try to get through his wicked head tossing/mouth chomping issues. It didn't seem to work. So we moved into the sidepull.

His first Sidepull was Weaver brand with a rawhide nose-piece that I wrapped in red vet-wrap, to match his Red Professional's Choice SMB Elites, and his Black Bell Boots. Very quickly we found a happy medium in the sidepull - my horse was stomping his hoof down, he's bitless gosh-darnit!

Yet, I was still feeling that "slipping" issue, and proceeded to take thousands and thousands of these types of photos...

This would occur right after I took Jingle's saddle off, uneven hair, odd dry-spots.
I contacted Frontier and was informed that with winter-hair coats, sometimes the sweat doesn't have a chance to soak through the entirety, which causes these "dry-spots". Uhm. No. You are wrong. Thanks for playing. My saddle wasn't fitting right, and so I found a lady that specializes in cowhorse saddles, but also takes a lot of trade-ins, I figured I would find a used cutting or reining saddle from her. But, once again, my "spend more for higher quality" mentality kicked in and I ended up with a very nice saddle indeed... too nice...

It was a Don Rich cowhorse saddle, but I discovered I still felt that "slipping" feeling, compound that with the fact that the fleece lining underneath was uneven... I quickly returned it, and got a second, even nicer one, as an apology.

what an awkward stance my horse has going on in this shot...

So nice. so dang nice. I loved it, it was beautiful. However, it was "slipping" too, always on Jingle's right side, I could just feel shifting. My trainer wondered if I'm so used to the feeling that now I over-compensate for it, and try to adjust before it actually does slip. My massage therapist commented that my right side is tighter. Jingle's massage therapist commented that his back is uneven, especially in musculature, and slightly lowered.. you guessed it... to the right. 

Add to that, Jingle actually has a nice normal back, except just behind his shoulders/withers there is a slight dip, causing those dry-spots and uneven places.

I knew I needed something almost a bit too wide, and something that would accommodate my horses funky back as we tried to get him back to being evenly muscled, and working properly. All these saddles I had been trying were just too narrow and sitting right up on his withers, even though EVERYONE and their dog told me they were all fitting fine, I knew that it wasn't. 

During this time I found a lady via Facebook that make's very nice bitless attachments for bridles. I purchased one from Amanda's Halters, and it works wonderful, not only is it attractive, it's made out of parachute chord so it's tight and has a bit of a bite if I need it. Finally, I was tickled pink because I finally had my horse back in one of his pretty bridles, not those ugly plain sidepulls i'd been dealing with. Now, my next plan is to bling up the Sidepulls I have! 

The Lady I had been working with found me a nice saddle, a Don Rich, but more of a Ranch Cutter/Cowhorse, it was a bit wider so it could sit right down on those darn withers, and it fit me really nicely. We had to ride in a demo, and then finally, mine came. She even oiled it two-tone, especially for me. I love it.

Looking a bit dirty here after a couple months of riding - the only downside to roughouts is how quickly they show use, but I love roughouts, and don't think I'd go without one now.

I am also riding Jingle in a Professional's Choice Air-ride with the built up shoulders. These pads are hard to find because Prof. Choice has been phasing them out in replacement with the contoured pads, which I don't like as much. The only built-up pads you can get right now are generally stupidly expensive, ugly, or round-skirted for barrel racers. This pad has been perfect.

Jingle also got new black SMB's, as his red ones were falling apart, and I need to get them re-stitched. I think they look quite nice on him, I really like the contrast of all the browns, blacks and whites with his tack right now. 

& of course, I had to throw in some bling... a pretty little saddle cross I picked up at Lammles.

Finally, I'm riding him in a professional's choice neoprene cinch. I don't love neoprene, infact I have quite a few very nice (read:expensive) mohair cinches I'd prefer to ride Jingle in, but the fact of the matter is Neoprene sticks, and with a hard to fit horse, that's what you need. I may switch back into mohair for summer trail riding, but for right now, neoprene is serving us very well.

Jingle says, "How crazy do you think my mahm is? I think she'z at a 10 for sure. Rumour has it she bought me a bosal for my birthday. She haz a problem."

So, what's the point of this post? I guess that I am a nut-job and completely, totally addicted to shopping for my horse. Holy moly.

Riding Diary - 53 - Cutting

Horse: CD Lights (obviously not THE Cd Lights haha)

Time: 1 Hr

Ride: Holy, I realized the other day I never posted about my latest cutting lesson. I barely squeezed it in between all the term papers, finals, and studying, and work that i've been doing lately. When I got there I discovered that a baby had been born recently! So Exciting. Man he is a cutie, he was bouncing around and rearing up on his poor mama. Then he would go for a little run around his stall and slide right down into a stop - pretty cool, that's what good genes get ya! However, Coach is one of those believers in "let a horse be a horse" especially when it's a baby, so we're not allowed to cuddle or coo to it, or anything, until it's quite a bit older. Sad. I just wanna cuddle the baby!!

CD was the first horse I ever worked at Coach's place, and lately i've been riding John Wayne, so I was interested in seeing how different they felt after a couple of rides. We warmed up and then I worked CD on the flag. He was keeping a decent straight line, but he was farther away from the flag than JW usually is, so I always felt like I had to get him closer and closer. When I tried this he'd usually leak away from the flag and lose focus, so it was a lot of stop, back-up, get him in the right position, hold through the line, etc. He's also a big stopper, not in the "showy" sense, but it feels like he's jarring me right out of my seat. I had to really slump and curl low to sit his stops, and I felt like I looked a little too much like quasi-modo for anyones liking haha.

He was a wickedly fun ride though, once we both got eachother sorted out we got some really good work in. My absolute favourite move that cutting horses do is when the flag (or in real life - one of these days - haha cow) moves side to side so the horse has to basically jump from side to side to catch them. I love it. It's that motion that really makes me understand why cutters are often referred to as cats (and not just because of "High Brow Cat" and his many "cat" offsprings haha).

As per usual, all of a sudden, my ride was over. I cooled him off for quite a bit and watched Coach work JW on the flag. Then we sat around talking bloodlines and buying and selling horses for awhile. He has two foals due this year, the colt above, and another, both have some pretty amazing bloodlines. I was drooling all over the idea of a WR This Cats Smart baby. One of my favourite studs for sure. Can't wait to see what the new addition looks like - if I can ever find the time and money to get out there. Sigh.

For Next Time: Clear communication, I did better controlling my legs, but because CD is a bit bigger my hand kept leaping up, I really had to focus to keep my hand down and not move it, which in turn, affected my position.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trying New Things: Flag Girl?

A friend of mine rides for the Calgary Stampede Ranch Girls, and invited myself and Brigitte out to try-outs for the 2013 Calgary Stampede Season. We both thought, heck - why not! The Ranch Girls are the Flag girls that ride Grand Entry and throughout the daily rodeos during the ten days of madness that is the Calgary Stampede.

Watching them as a kid I remember thinking that they, and their matching sorrel horses with white blazes and white socks, were the epitome of cool cowgirls. I wasn't wrong.

We got to the try-outs with resumes in hands, dressed like the real things - boots with spurs, jeans, a nice belt and western shirt and a cowboy hat. I bought the hat especially for the try-out, and also because I thought it was about time I finally got one. I've always ridden in crappy straw cowboy hats, baseball caps, sometimes a helmet, and more often than not I prefer to have my hair down. However, fast-forward to the try out and I realized that I've never, ya know, loped with this hat on. I had added stampede strings to it, but my stomach still kind of clenched up a bit. Then, I realized that one of the snaps on my Panhandle Slim shirt kept popping loose... right in the centre of my stomach. Frick. Stop that. A quick safety pin later and we were ready to rumble!

We watched 9 of the girls practice their routine for Aggie Days next week. They all looked so good and poised - even when their horses started to bunch together, run amuck, or in one instance - buck. Dibs out on that horse.  Then they called us down and split us into 2 groups of five.

I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the girls trying out were wearing drill-team, and rodeo jackets. Then there's me... never ridden in a rodeo in my life. Gulp.
The first group went, and all the girls looked great. They did their first lap without flags, then a second lap with flags and just like that, they were done.

Then we hopped up on our horses, trotted them around and then were called in to start.

We all piled in to the smallest corral possible, my horse was basically turned away from the exit, and all of a sudden I found myself turning and galloping out a chute. Holy heck. Of course my foot clipped the gate on the way out, all I heard behind me was "WATCH YOUR FEET GIRLS". Fml. The first run around was good, I felt pretty confident (except for gate clip), my horse had already been run quite a bit at this point and definitely wasn't feeling the most energetic, I tried to keep him on the rail but he was cutting corners. shooooot.

Then we headed back in and were handed flags. A man helped me get my flag in my flag boot - the contraption that is attached to the stirrups that holds the flag in. I unwound the fabric and turned my horse towards the exit back into the arena. The girl infront of me lowered her flag forwards and then kind of shot it backwards and I realized that the flags were going to catch on the panels as we headed out - too late - my flag clipped the top of a panel as we headed out and popped right out of the flag boot.

I plastered a big smile on my face and cursed in my head the whole way around that darn arena. My friend in the stands said she could barely tell my flag wasn't secured in - but I bet she was lying. When we got to the centre to stop and stand at attention, I popped the flag back in, but it felt like it took hours of me fumbling around like an idiot. Then we headed out of the arena, again - at a gallop, and it was all over.

The nice man came back to grab my flag and told me I had done a good job holding it without the flag boot, and I weakly smiled back at him. One of the coordinators came in and gave a speech about watching our flags and also how close we are to the panels and gates because the horses love to cheat corners... so was she talking just to me? I looked around and thought for sure none of the other girls had clipped the panel or the gate... cool.

Afterwards they told us that they would contact us in two weeks if we had gotten in.

Alas, I don't think I'll be making Ranch Girls this year... but, thinking about it now, it was a fun and crazy experience. Who shows up to try out for one of the most famous grand entry groups around, and has never even held a flag before? Sometimes my life is so crazy haha. Atleast I got to dress up!

My try-out outfit, do I look the part?


I wrote this last week, a day after the try-out, and today to my UTTER shock and amazement, I was invited to be a member of the 2013 Calgary Stampede Ranch Girls! How Exciting is that!! I absolutely can't wait.

My stomach is all knotted up with butterflies of happiness, excitement and complete nervousness.

This summer is going to be amazing!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Things That Annoy Me:

I've been looking into "cowboy challenges" for Jingle and I, because I think that's the direction we're both going, and enjoying at the same time - together for once!


taken from the Canadian Cowboy Challenge rulebook

It is so freakin' frustrating that a majority of shows (NOT just these types of challenges) don't allow bitless bridles or sidepulls.
It looks like Extreme Cowboy Challenges allow bitless/sidepull options, but there's only two in Canada per year.
However, both will accept Hackamores...

Looks like I should probably invest in a hackamore soon... ugh, money I don't have.

Still - what if my horse likes a sidepull more than a hackamore, what's the harm in letting us come play on the swings with all the other kids at the playground?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Riding Diary - 52

Time: 1.5 hr

Ride: I got out of a midterm early and headed down to the barn in beeeeautiful 17 degree weather! in April! No complaints here my friends. When I got there, my trainer had just arrived aswell, and I asked her if I could sneak into lessons and she said yes. So I hung around and waited for Jingle-Pants to come in from his turn out. He hates when I do that. He runs in with the rest of his pals, all amped up for some grain time and wabam! Here I am with his halter! He is never impressed with me.

Our lesson was good, Jingle is figuring out the whole "cadence and flow" idea and is starting to really maintain balance and steadiness at a jog and a trot. He's even starting to stretch out and really find his own collection and contact, and I like that he's able to find it naturally. On the lunge line he'll stay round and collected even longer, so it's just a matter of time before we can start working on some higher levels of collection now that he's figured out he has an abdomen. Horse, you are so smart.

From the warm-up my my trainer we worked on some rollbacks, I need to practice more leg and getting him to really snap around, not just turn in a tiny circle.

Then she set up a pole and we worked on sidepassing evenly over it both ways, as in, his front legs were on one side, and his back legs on the other. He's doing very well with his sidepassing, but does get a bit rushier when it comes to sidepassing towards the left. I need to work on getting him slower and more relaxed so that he's actually stepping properly and not just rushing off of my leg.

From there we did some work with the gate. At the moment Jingle's biggest "issue" is that he's not as independent in the hindquarters as i'd like him to be. However, as the sidepassing exercises demonstrated, he can be when he wants to. This is an issue because we'll work on the gate, we'll come through, and when I ask him to pivot his hinquarters left so that I can position myself to close the gate, and then again, to pivot towards the gate so I can shut it easier, he refuses to listen to my leg, and either jumps forward, or back. He was doing really well, and you could tell he was trying, but at one point with the gate almost closed my trainer and I basically commented at the exact same time we just wanted his hind-end a half step closer, but everytime we almost got that from him - he'd rush off.

We worked on the gate a few times more, one time I even just picked up the end of my left rein and dangled it and he swung right over. Oh.. look at that... you're independent when you want to be.

My trainer has me walk him out between doing the gate so that he has a mental break. Then she asked me to lope him, I haven't loped him for her in a long time, but i've been pleasantly impressed with his cadence at the lope as well lately. She was impressed too, and said she was really happy with where we are lope-wise. Yay.

After a mini "Weeeeee we get to go fast toooo!" break, we worked on pivoting on the forehand. When Jingle is pivoting around himself clockwise, he is wonderful. My trainer got me to open up my hand even more and just get him to really swing around. He was doing wicked! We looked down and sure enough there were drag marks in the arena dirt from his pivoting. What's up now world! Counter-clockwise... not as pretty... rushing occured... things to work on. haha.

Finally, we went back to the gate a couple more times, and then my trainer got me to hang out and just lean my weight on the closed gate, I did this, getting him to just stand there for about 4 minutes. Sometimes, mental breaks are good for both horse and human.

Afterwards we cooled off by going for a bit of a amble down the road in the beautiful sun. Good lesson!

For Next Time: Exercises to free up that sticky hindquarter, and, slow him down and get him to "think" more when doing things like sidepassing to the right, pivoting to the right, etc. My poor left sided horse.