Well this is going to sound a little weird, but it's something that crossed my mind a while back, I played with it and then reverted back to 'normal'.
I'm going to start running Moon to the left barrel first.
I've had a couple of horses that I have trained to run to the left first, but have always started everything to the right and only switched for a particular reason...like a horse who is stiffer to the left than the right.
The other day, two things came together in my head...you know...those two brain cells I have...LMAO...
Actually, I had just read an article about Martha...
Sears was talking about what it took to click with the mare and she elaborated on the fact that Martha had originally been a normal barrel horse, going to the right barrel first, but she had a terrible time getting her around the 2nd barrel. She just could not get the mare bent correctly and Martha was so fast, she couldn't get her into position in time. So she switched her and the rest is history...
The other half of my decision hit me when I was working Moon over the trainers. I have always had to work harder to get and keep Moon in the correct body position going to the left. He requires about twice as much work on that side as he does on his right side.
And then it dawned on me...the problems Sears was having with Martha sounded awfully familiar to the problems I am having with Moon. Moon's always been stiffer to the left than to the right and has always kind of wanted to shoulder into 2nd barrel, but as he has gotten older, he has obviously gotten more determined about it.
I never have problems going to the right on him.
Sooo...don't you all think that makes sense?
If I run him to the left, I don't have to open him up going to the 1st barrel and I will be able to get and keep him in frame...and...he only has to make one turn on his not so flexible side.
I cannot believe I didn't figure this out sooner. What a dunce!
Wish me luck, cause I'm going to try it out tonight at the CWBRA Finals race. I just want to see how it will work. Moon's had enough practice going both directions that if I don't open him up, I should be able to put him where I want him. **If I get there early enough, I can practice a little bit to, so he is prepared for the change. ;-)
If it works, I will be thrilled and may have a chance at the NBHA Districts on Saturday. Jeez-it would be nice to get back to being competitive. Now that the season is almost over...LOL.
***And Thank you for the condolences about Mighty Mouse. It sucked, as the friend who had to listen to me sob can testify. He was doing so good and I really thought he was going to live forever, but when he started laying down a lot again and then laying out flat on his side, I knew he was having a full blown laminitic episode and I just could not see letting him suffer through another one. The Fall is a dangerous time of year for problematic horses/ponies. The changing weather really seems to set off their systems.