It was windy again tonight and I wondered if Faxx would be spooky again — but whatever demons were after him on Saturday, and at the show, had packed their bags and moved out of his little horsie brain! He was picture perfect, as he usually is. In my effort to ‘raise the bar’ in his training, I asked him some tougher questions tonight. 1. Can you do a ‘baby’ turn on the haunches? Answer: I can almost do a ‘grownup’ turn on the forehand. 2. How about shoulder-in? Answer: A little harder than TOH,but with a little work, I’ll have it nailed. 3. Haunches in? Answer: Why do you WANT me crooked when you’ve been bugging me to be STRAIGHT for the past two years????? LOL. Faeryn had almost the exact same answer to that question!
I was just a bit surprised, but it seems that most of lateral work 2.0 came ‘pre-installed’ on Faxx. I am also loving my new arena. I am not sure how the clay base will hold up to the torrential rains that are most assuredly coming this winter, despite the almost-drought we are in now, (and that’s why I built the larger round pen with a rock base – my ‘go to’ place when the arena is not rideable) but it is by far the best arena I’ve ever had. I will never buy bank sand (that orange sand) again. The sharp sand -a coarse, angular sand – is expensive, but well worth it. I also think it will resist blowing and getting dusty, since it’s much heavier grains, and also will not get washed away as easily. The next task is to get those railroad ties in place around it before the rains come, and get water faucets out there so I can water it – it definitely needs it now – it has not rained since I put it in — about a month ago!
I rode Fling tonight, too. She has not been nearly as happy with the footing in my new arena as Faxx and Faeryn. I think because she is a bit smaller, it’s more work for her. It’s supposed to be 2 inches deep everywhere, but there are still some deeper spots where it’s probably 3 inches – and with this sand, it’s on the deepish side. (I have been hand raking and removing sand from the deep spots.) Part of the problem is she has not been being ‘honest’ in carrying herself. So even though I hate to be a ‘meanie’ with my horses, we had a ‘discussion’ about self-carriage tonight, and she got better, and then I had a lightbulb moment myself – I am sitting much too heavily on her. I also need to get in the habit of sitting like Debbie Bowman told me in the clinic – more up on my pelvis and not on my butt.I never had a chair seat – but I was sitting a bit too far back and ‘driving’ her downward too much with my seat. So, between Fling saying “ok, I can carry myself better” and me realizing I was sitting wrong — suddenly those two things converged and she became light, connected and in super self-carriage. And gee, the footing wasn’t an issue at that point, either!