I should point out that being one of Chemaine's demo rider ranks up there as one of the most enjoyable, exhilarating, and awesome things that I have had the opportunity to do with horses. And I have completed 100-mile endurance rides, ridden across the Irish countryside, galloped on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, jumped fallen redwoods in Redwood National Park, and ridden horses in at least five different countries. Even with all of that, being a demo rider was pretty damn cool.
Even taking a lesson at the Fairplex was exciting. We rode in the racetrack's infield, just behind the main arena with music blaring and the announcer calling out introductions. As my lesson started, the track's lights came on, and the atmosphere became almost electric. Speedy sure felt it!
This little video clip is funny because my friends are heckling me as we struggle with getting the correct lead. I am including it just for fun.
Speedy can pick up both leads equally as well when the direction of travel is obvious. If we're circling right, he gets the right lead. If we're circle left, same thing. On the long side however, I am not as good with my seat aids, so he simply defaults to a true canter lead, or a left lead if the option isn't super clear. In this last video, Chemaine was really encouraging me to look in the direction of the lead. For me, picking up the right lead was the most difficult as my right hip has trouble coming forward.