Life is “normal” again…

Whatever that is! I rode Fling last night for the first time in what seems like forever! My mantra on her for now is NO pulling, no HOLDING, half halts must happen, and if they don’t, she needs to be read the riot act. NO MORE nagging, constant, tiny half halts. Half halt and MEAN it or don’t do it at all. I also have decided she is against my leg not only to the left, but also somewhat to the right. So she can’t lean on me either. From now on, she has to carry her own weight. Literally. She is not being naughty or bad – but like any thinking creature (and she definitely IS a thinking creature!) – she has found the ‘easiest’ way to do things, and often that involves letting ME hold her up, or do a lot of the work. And, I have discovered, when I am holding her – she is not LIGHT. And she is not supple. Last night, despite not being ridden for awhile, I resisted the urge to keep half halting to get her rounder, or lighter, and instead, worked on using my leg to push her out to the outside rein, and give her a chance to go light and round. And mostly it worked. I had some really good canter work and some good half pass. In the HP, I am especially tempted to hold the OUTSIDE rein too much – I need to use more inside rein, less outside rein, sit on my ‘inside’ seatbone and bend her around my inside leg but don’t let her lean against that leg. Fling requires a much more complicated warm up than either Faxx or Faeryn. Fling does not ‘come out of the box’ supple, light, etc.  It takes a methodical warm up. My first reaction is always “OH MY GOD WHERE IS MY TRAINED HORSE!! SHE IS STIFF AND HEAVY AND SO NO LISTENING TO MY AIDS.”  And when I panic, and try to kick and pull her to get her where I KNOW she needs to be (and CAN be) – it just is not fun or pretty. The KEY is to ‘push’ her to where she needs to be, not pull her. And it is truly amazing what a difference that makes. It was wonderful to ride my spotty girl again.

It is so hot right now, it’s hard to get my butt outside to ride before 7. Which makes it tough to ride two horses each night. I told Mike we are going on the ‘summer’ schedule and will eat really early – for us – about 6, when it’s too hot to do anything else. Then if I need to stay outside until 9, no problem. Lately we’ve been eating around 9 and that’s not good.

Next up is the Arabian/Half Arabian sporthorse championships in Waco, in almost a month. It was hot as hell last year – literally.  Waco was setting high temp records each day — 104 almost every day. We’ll be there for five days and although the competition arena is ‘air conditioned’ – that just means it’s 80 instead of 100. And the barn areas are NOT air conditioned. They have Big Ass fans -yes, that is what they are named. They are HUGE ceiling fans and they work well IF you are close to one. I am getting Faxx a ‘double wide’ stall since he’s so big, the stalls are only 10×10, and last year he did not llie down once — and we’ll be there five days.

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