I rode Faeryn in the field twice this week – working mostly on lateral work and small ‘forward and back’ at trot and canter. Also working on her right lead canter, which has always been her weakest. She really wants to flex her neck to the outside any chance she gets, which really destroys the quality of her canter. It is up to me to really maintain my position so she can’t ‘fall apart.’ Since I plan to show her in the HDS schooling show championships in December, and she will have to show First 4, we also need to work on changing the lead through the trot across the diagonal, 10 meter circles, leg yields and canter and trot lengthenings and a shallow loop at the canter, which includes a bit of counter canter. There is a huge amount of canter in First 4 and that will be Faeryn’s biggest challenge – to maintain the quality of the canter and her balance in the canter. She is getting better and I like riding her in the field. I need to drag some poles out there and start trotting her through them to help get her stronger – her wonky stifle is still a bit weak and needs strengthening. I’ve been doing a lot of reinback (and she’s gotten super at it) but trotting over poles will help even more.
I also rode Faxx twice this week and he was super. This evening I rode through most of the movements from First 4, and did 90% of the trot work sitting with no trouble. The biggest challenge for Faxx will be changing the lead across the diagonal through the trot. To start, this evening I simply asked him to make a good downward near X, and instead of trying to get a good change, I waited until near the corner to ask for the new lead. Now I just need to find some schooling shows to get him to so we can ride through some First level tests for practice for next year. I’m not going to take Faxx to the schooling show Championships – it’s just not conducive to taking two horses to that.
I am anxious to ride Fling but she is still just slightly off. Hopefully by tomorow she will be rideable – and I will take it very, very easy for the first week – no canter and only about 15-20 minutes of trot. I think I overdid it last week and she re-bruised her foot. I had such a good ride on her last week I can’t wait to get her back in regular work!
Next week it’s supposed to be the hottest it’s been all summer. Yipee. Not. I love my hometown, but I would not be adverse to living somewhere cooler during the summer when I finally (hopefully!) retire. It has to have good dressage trainers, tho! LOL!