I did an unusual thing Wednesay – and took a lesson after work! There was a 6:15 slot, and by leaving a tad bit early and racing home to pre-loaded truck/trailer, was able to make it in plenty of time!
I had not had any instruction at all on Faxx since April, so had a little trepidation about how much “fixing” was going to be required. When I got there, Faxx was really up on his toes – and when Faxx is up on his toes, it’s pretty impressive! The cooler weather plus some horses going banzai in the adjacent field had him much more hyper than usual. He is generally one laid back dude!
He settled in quickly and we went to work – first getting him to accept contact better (some things never change!) by moving him slightly into leg yield when he comes above the bit or gets fussy. Then, since he tends to pop his shoulder out, or drift out, in both directions (again, an ongoing problem) she had me put him in slight renvers, especially for canter departs. We worked on going across diagonal at canter and doing slight renvers before X to put him in correct bend for picking up new canter lead,which is a movement in First 4 (which will be First 3 when the new tests take effect, since there are now only 3 tests per level.) We struggled a bit with this – more my fault than his.
The takeaway message? Raise the bar – a lot. He is very talented and very ready for much harder work. And the homework? More of the above!
After many phone calls between dozer guy, 3 different materials yards and equipment rental place, I am all set for the big arena project Monday and Tuesday. The weather looks dry, cooler and beautiful for at least the next week. I hope all goes according to plan and there are no ‘surprises!’
And, in another note, Faxx has slipped to 20th place in the national USDF Amateur Horse of the Year rankings…he’s hanging on by his ‘hoofnails’ but I doubt he’ll keep that spot. All the shows haven’t been recorded yet, and the standings are not ‘official’ until Oct. 15.
There’s always next year!