I rode yesterday and Spyder was AWESOME... to the left! Our trot was good so we moved onto canter, and we were doing so well... then the right lead came. He didn't want to go! Spyder has a habit of knowing what he's being asked to do but not caring enough to do it. I kissed and kicked which led to him kicking out - back to the old tactics. Since the left was going well, we did a few jumps and ended on the "good note" of the left/happy lead at the canter. I think we need to work on getting stronger in that direction - both my leg and his muscles (mainly his attitude).
This morning I got to the farm super early and we tried both leads again. We trotted to the left and right while we spiraled in and out to work on both steering and leg response. Again, the left lead at the canter, perfect... from the walk. Spyder knows the cue and will canter off like he knows what he's doing, but now, he is just willing at the walk. When he gets moving and breaks into trot, we push up to the canter again, and this does give him practice for the trot to canter transition due to his laziness. We'll have to just figure out the trot to canter transition from the start.
The right was a different story. From last weekend and being perfect in both directions, I have no idea what changed. He didn't want to go. Walk to canter and trot to canter weren't working. UGH! We pushed through some initial little bucks/kicking out/tripping to get out of work and got the canter a bit, but then we went back to the left to reinforce what we were even trying to accomplish. Since the right is both of our weaker sides, I think that a dressage whip should help reinforce my weak leg aid on that side. The kissing (which was called "chirping" to get him to pace in harness) just makes him angry and doesn't make him pace... which I assume is what made him a bad racehorse.
Since I have a super opinionated and generally lazy horse, it makes training "fun" and muscles ache. One day is great and another frustrating, but he is always a pleasure to accomplish something with. Today, we got stronger at the left lead, and we didn't have any kicking out or cranky attitude about it. I was even pushing him out on a circle with the inside leg and got a response. We worked through the desire to come back out of the gait, and I'd say that's progress. Looking at the good makes things a whole lot better! This time last year, we weren't even at the canter yet. :)