It has been perfectly gorgeous this week. Even the little bit of rain we had earlier was fine with me, since my arena was still rideable!!
I am riding all three with the goal of showing all of them in recognized shows this year. I am prepping Fling for her third level debut and have been having periodic panic attacks at the prospect! But, as Nike says, sometimes you just gotta “Do it!” It’s a huge step on our journey – both for me AND Fling! But – it is JUST a STEP.
The good thing about having had umpteen young horses and training them myself is that I finally do have a clue about what I am doing at Training/First/Second. I need occasional ‘reminders’ (like, more bend, more forward, etc) but I finally know enough to not wander TOO far off track in-between lessons. Faxx and Faeryn are both pretty ready to show First level at schooling shows. Faxx maybe a little more than Faeryn simply because the trot/canter lengthenings were ‘factory installed’ on him! 😉
I have learned from her ‘bolting’ episode in my last post that Faeryn needs to be a little ‘revved up’ to show that good, powerful trot that feels like the beginnings of a second level horse. Withouth bolting first every time to find that, I can ‘create’ the same sort of energy by really bending her, and activating her inside hind to outside rein. And making sure she is FORWARD enough. She is a lot like her mom, Lisa. Lisa, with no urging, would go along in a nice, polite trot and look like she was nicely on the bit. It presented a perfectly pleasant picture. But she was not truly ‘connected’ with the energy flowing from her hind end to her front end….but with just a bit of ‘tweaking,’ Lisa could be transformed into a pretty powerful little package. The trick is to not be satisified with the pleasant little trot and always be looking for more. That is the reminder I (and other amateurs) often need. There is such an emotional attachment between my horses and me, that I am usually all too happy to just gratefully accept what they offer. (After all, I am often humbled just by the fact they’re all such honest little worker bees.) But it’s that extra 10-15% you get when you ASK for more that can make ALL the difference between a 60% ride and a 70% ride.
And that ‘asking for more’ is also what builds the strength you need to move up the levels.