A so-so day

Just when I felt confident Faxx’s ‘fussy contact’ problems were resolved, here they come again. I have to remember, though, that 8 months ago, ‘unwilling to take contact’ meant he would throw his head in the air so high I’d be in danger of tasting his ears. Now, ‘fussy contact’ means he is mouthing the bit and momentarily resistant. I even stopped part-way through the ride and got off and adjusted the bit and cheekpieces. That seemed to help. What helps most is to not “panic” and just think methodical, methodical, methodical. And, with Faxx, half halts are measured in millimeters, not inches. He is definitely making me learn to be super quiet and steady with my hands. Also, it helps a lot if he does not feel ‘trapped.’ If I have him on the outside rein, I have to make sure the inside rein is soft and inactive except for when I really need it. And to ‘give’ about twice as much as I ‘take.’ And to sit up and be a’column’ on top of him, keep my eyes up and soft and breathe. Not a lot to remember all at once. 😉 We did have much better canter departs today. I just have to remember to soften my aids and really just think about sitting down and forward with my inside seatbone – if my timing is right, I’ll get a nice, quiet, forward canter depart just from that. Nexst week we go to a schooling show as a ‘prep’ for a recognized show Sept. 19-20. We are trying to get the second score we need to compete in our Regional USDF Champs the end of October, and maybe to improve our 68.2 USDF median. Of course, we could also make it worse. 😉 No guts, no glory! 

Faeryn felt soft, soft, soft today. The resistance to the right rein of last month has gone away since I got her a Sprenger that’s a cross between a loose ring and an eggbut bit, with a 3-part mouthpiece with a ‘bean’ in the middle. We’ve been working on strengthening her right hind in the canter and she’s _almost_ 100% now. Her canter, and canter departs to the left are very good – she stays round and really comes up into the depart. To the right, she is still anticipating that it is going to hurt, or be hard, and she wants to drop her shoulder, counterflex and run into it – but she is getting much better and I had two almost ‘normal’ departs to the right. I need to start challenging her more — doing more of the little ‘forward and back’ exercises that build muscle and are the beginnings of collected work. She is very fun to ride, and her back is really supple. She needs a lot of mileage since she has not been off the farm much and is VERY excitable in new places yet. She is going to a schooling show the last weekend of September and several before the end of the year. She is qualified for the first-ever Houston Dressage Society championships Dec. 13 and that’s what we’re working toward. I am going to take her to as many schooling shows as I can this fall, and next year I’ll have to pick a ‘sacrifice’ recognized show to take her to for her first ‘overnight’ show.

 Fling banged her knee Thursday and it was huge when I went to ride her. I iced her and hosed her several times a day the past few days. It’s still a bit swollen but there’s no heat and she’s just a little off. So she’s had the whole Labor Day weekend off…

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