If you watched the video that I posted yesterday, you probably saw Lucy's new fun game: switching her lead as an evasion.
Let's review a brief history of Lucy's evasions:
1. Running around like a giraffe with her head in the air and singing "Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" to herself constantly.
2. Grabbing the bit and going for it (this was built on evasion #1).
3. Leaping through the air like a Lipizzaner.
5. Standing in one place no matter how hard I kicked her (and I was NOT nice about it).
6. Standing in one place and kicking out every time I urged her forward.
7. Rearing (this lasted two short days because there was NO delay in swift and severe punishment for this behaviour, AKA, she got her little dappled heinie kicked).
8. And most recently, the swapping of leads.
You may think, "Wow, how wonderful! A horse with a built-in lead change!" and yes, it is quite wonderful, but not when I am trying to do everything humanly possible to prevent her from swapping her lead, i.e. bend her around my inside leg, block her outside shoulder with my outside rein/leg so that she can't pop it out and change her lead, etc. Despite all of that, my athletic-to-a-fault little mare still manages to do the most even and perfect flying lead change, and around a corner no less.
My instructor watched this happen in our lesson four times. The first time I took the blame. "Well that was totally my fault; I had a half-ass bend going on and I probably wasn't even supporting at all on the outside." He just replied, "well fix it!" and then he coached me through it. So we picked up the canter again and wham, she did it a second time. This time I got mad. I didn't want to be asking her for a flying lead change at this point in her training, so I had to bring her down to a trot, and then I had to spend time getting her balanced again, and then I could ask her to pick up the canter. It just took so LONG that by the time we were cantering again, she had already finished celebrating her victory *and* planned her next move. I said this to my instructor and he assured me that she hadn't won because she was still moving forward, but I know the way the female brain works and she had totally won.
I was screwed before I even picked up the third canter, and once again, she did it. Now we were just trying to get once around the ring at the canter without any changes so that I can ask her for a trot transition on MY terms, and not because she's popped her lead. It took four canters to do this, and she was absolutely tickled pink with herself. So crafty, so clever, SO INFURIATING.
And don't doubt that as soon as I master this evasion, she will come up with another one. It's just the way it goes with this horse!! I can't say I'm excited to discover what new fun games she devises, either...
But yes, when we eventually do start schooling changes, I am confident it will be a breeze.