I hauled Faxx over to Marie’s after work today. This is our pre-Championships push. I also haven’t had much time to ride the past few weeks – just too much going on in my non-horsey life! Today we worked on getting him to step under himself more when coming to halt, and then going forward with energy. Our lowest scores tend to be on our centerline/halts, so this will help with that. It is also time he starts learning to be more adjustable forward/back and get a tad more collected. He can move BIG – but now he needs to learn to have more activity behind, and rely less on his big, big gaits. One exercise Marie had us do was trot on a circle, and then do two big half halts and try to think of him almosst trotting in place – and then send him forward to a big medium trot. He really wanted to just canter – because that is easier – but after correcting some crookedness in ME – it got much better. And wow – what power! He has always had tons of suspension, but it was light and airy – by really half halting him and thinking piaffe, his trot got so much more POWERFUL. He is also taking much better, steadier contact with the bit. No problems these days getting and keeping him connected. Sitting the trot has almost become a non-issue. We’ve sort of been ‘coasting,’ not really wantint to ‘rock the boat’ before showing at Training level at the championships. Well, this winter we’re going to get down to business, with the goal of showing second level at schooling shows by next summer.
I’ve ridden Faxx twice in my new, improved arena and oh, what a difference the footing makes! Just amazing! Now – to see how weatherproof it is! But I’ve got the rock-base round pen, so hopefully that will be the ‘backup plan’ when it’s too wet to ride in the big arena.
The USDF year end awards standings will be final tomorrow. Currently, Faxx is in the Top 20 in the US among Adult amateurs with a 69% median. He is also first in the Amateur standings in our region. Hopefully that will still be the case by this time tomorrow!