Leslie Webb ... again with her? ... asked me if I knew when the hind leg was in the air. I answered truthfully that I did not. I figured it was better to look dumb and learn something than to sound smart and prove myself otherwise. She pointed out that as the horse's barrel swings to the right, his left hind is coming up and a barrel swinging to the left means a right hind is coming up. Oh, okay, I feel that.
As I was riding Monday morning, with my newly placed poles from Home Depot, I focused on straightness across the diagonal. But instead of steering his front end, I focused on keeping his hind legs moving in the direction I wanted. I let my legs swing gently with Speedy's barrel in a side to side motion, almost pushing him forward. It felt a little like dribbling a soccer ball ... gentle nudges to keep it rolling forward. If he drifted right, I swung the right leg a little more firmly into his side ... bump, bump, until I felt him shift to the left where my left leg was ready to "catch" him and guide him forward.
I have heard it said a million times to ride a horse from back to front ... OH, that's what they mean!