Fling has had a few days off. It POURED on Monday and didn’t ride anyone. I rode Faeryn Tuesday but could only walk and trot -just too slippery to risk a canter, and no good dry ground at least 20M around! I worked on half halting like Debbie said — don’t expect it to happen in one stride, and don’t give up until I get one. Wednesday night I was able to canter a bit. The halt halts are still not happening very well at the canter, but we’re making progress at the trot. Thursday it was dry enough that I could get a ‘regular’ work out. Her canter is much improved from a month ago. I am now asking her to do very large turns on the haunches -really still almost like haunches-in on a circle. It is one of the exercises Debbie recommended (in addition to the leg yield with head to the wall) to strengthen her right hind. Her trot always feels fabulous these days – if I could just get the canter to even approach the suspension and power of her trot!
I did a few canter/trot transitions and they really stunk and then I remembered something Marie had told me about Faxx – you need to think about riding _forward_ into the transition. Faeryn was just sort of ‘falling’ into the trot, and then she would pop her butt up on the downward. I need to push her forward into the transition so she just doesn’t go ‘splat.’ She has more of the “Arab” croup than either Faxx or Fling – and since it’s sort of flat and not angled, she, more so than the other two, tends to step backwards instead of underneath herself. It is not noticeable so much in the trot, but really shows up in the canter sometimes.
I also worked on shoulder in, and did our ‘head to the wall’ leg yield to the left, to work on strengthening her right hind. I did shoulder-in – she’s getting pretty good at that – and for kicks I did some ‘baby’ half pass at the walk, and threw in a few at the trot. Half pass has become my very favorite exercise to do with Fling – because, as Marie says, she does it so well! My goal is to get it even BETTER so we can score 8s on it.
Fling came bombing out to the corner where I was working Faeryn, seming to be almost insulted that Faeryn was getting the attention. She created quite a distraction for Faeryn, who doesn’t quite yet have Fling’s focus. 😉 Well, it would be hard for anyone or anything to focus with 1,000 lbs of exuberant equine bucking and leaping around you! Or maybe instead of jealous, Fling was doing her version of “neener neener neener, you have to work and I don’t!”
At least it is a bit warmer. I just have not been able to make myself ride Faxx, since it entails trekking out to the round pen and riding after dark, under lights. If it’s warm, I am much more likely to do that. I really need some decent weather sometime this weekend to ‘test drive’ him out in the pasture (after locking Faeryn and Fling in the small paddock) to see how he does being ridden in the ‘great outdoors’ of the 10-acre field. Maybe I’ll dig out the eventing crash vest for that venture too, since he’s not been ridden in awhile AND never ridden in our huge field.
Marie is on vacation and Debbie Bowman isn’t coming until late February, so we’re on our own for awhile now. But that’s OK. I’ve learned a lot about ‘feel’ in the past year and that’s really helping me in my training of the two youngsters. Although it is very difficult for me to believe that they are six years old – well, to me they are never 6 until their real birthday rolls around, and for Faeryn that’s not until the end of June. Now I kind of know how parents feel – because she will always be “my baby.” Even tho she’s older, I still feel the same way about Fling and can’t believe she’ll be 11 in August. I remember the night I spent in the barn on foal watch, and delivering her, like it was just yesterday.