I rode Faxx under lifghts in the round pen for the first time last night. The light is nice and bright and doesn’t make ‘scary’ shadows. Good thing because it’s scary enough back there as it is – next to neighbor’s workshop and garage and they always are coming and going with cars/car doors, garage doors opening, workshop noises (sawing,e tc.) and there’s a huge stand of pine trees between us so horses can hear but not see what’s making the racket. But all was relatively quiet last night so it was a good time for our ‘maiden voyage’ perse.
As always, due to him being cold backed, I lunged him first. Despite the fact that I hate taking the time to put on all the gear, I have finally realized that lunging him with side reins makes for a much better ride afterwards. Plus, I spend all this time working on his topline when he’s under saddle – do I really want him barging around with his head up and his back dropped when I’m lunging him. Of course the correct answer here is NO.
Faxx was definitely a little rusty. And perhaps just a little nonplussed at actually having to WORK. And that is the difference between him and ‘the girls.’
When Faxx does not have to work, his response, in human teenager terms, would be along the lines of “YES! Party down, dude. All the grass I can eat and sleeping in the sun every day.”
The girls, on the other hand, have a completely different reaction to time off: “What – we’re not working today? Don’t you love us anymore????” Fling: “My half pass will get rusty. I need to work on my flying changes, and my turn on the haunches.” Faeryn: “But you’ll still groom me, right? I mean, I just got my mane the way I want it! And treats – what about treats? We don’t get as many treats when we don’t work. I’ll work for treats. Do you have any peppermints? What about a Nickermaker??? Huh? Huh? Do ya? Do ya? PUHLEEZZZZZZZ!?”
Faxx was not the least naughty – but he’s gotten a tad bit lazy. He has also, I have noticed, gotten a bit, um…”fluffy.”
At the walk I started asking him to move his haunches in on a large circle – the beginnings of turn on the haunches. As is usually the case, he was much better to the left than the right. And then did a little shoulder-fore on a circle. I am limited in what I can do in a round pen, so I am going to have to get creative in my exercises. I did find I can ‘square’ the circle’ and get some straight lines in, which is good to practice really controlling his shoulders.
With Faxx, too, I need to be very mindful of not sitting too much on my left seatbone – not just sittign left – but I also sometimes catch myself LEANING left. With Faxx it is especially easy to tell when I am not sitting evenly – I start dropping my right stirrup. That’s a sure sign I am not sitting on my right seatbone – and that makes me start drawing my right leg up.