I’m a glutton for punishment

I got up at 6 a.m. this morning so I could be ready to ride in a local clinic with Debbie Bowman at 8. And after that I took Faxx to a local schooling show to make his First level debut. Yes, I am crazy!!

But, it was a beautiful, cool morning – I had to wear a light jacket!! Amazing!  It was quite breezy, but luckily Fling does not react to stuff like that. It was  a good session, focusing mainly on getting me to sit more ‘up’ in the saddle — I have been sitting too much on my butt and pushing her ‘down’ with the weight of my seat, pushing her onto her forehand. My seat needs to be more vertical, and my legs need to stretch down and back further. When I was able to make these changes, I could tell a big difference in the way she moved. It is going to take a lot of work to ‘confirm’ those changes. You always know you’ve had a good lesson when you get off and can barely walk. Such was the day today – and I even wondered how tha would affect riding Faxx later in the day!  When I got home I took two Aleve, ate something and then went to get Faxx to load him to go to the show.

 My rides were at 2:20 and 2:40 and I got there in plenty of time to warm him up. He got all snorty and hiked his tail over his back while lunging him when he saw some bike riders. Very unlike him, but it was also still windy. He settled down and soon it was our time to go. I didn’t have time to ‘memorize’ First 2.  He did OK at First 1, I thought – I did not have as much trouble sitting the entire test as i thought I would, and I did remember to sit up and square my shoulders, which helps me keep him ‘through.’  He had a few short moments of resistance, especially in the halt at X. that’s a tough move for him. he always hangs on the reins into the halt, and he doesn’t like to STAY there. But the quality of his gaits felt very good. Still need to work on getting MORE from the trot and canter lengthenings. He has not had the lightbulb moment yet that he has different ‘gears’ in every gait.

I was really lost in First 2 – I just didn’t have time to look at it and refresh my memory before our ride time – we actually ended up riding our two rides back to back. I did have a reader, but I did a poor job at setting him up for some of the movements, since i didn’t know what was coming sometimes until I heard the reader. A bit ragged around the edges, but the gaits were still good.

We ended up with a 77.6 on First 1 and a 73.something on First 2. A bit generous, I think, but I’ll take it!  And before our next show we’ll KNOW First 2. His next show will be Oct. 24, I think.

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