It felt really good to get a lesson on Faeryn. It’s been a month since our last one.
Marie saw definite improvement, mostly in canter. But she still needs straightness and more suppleness, especially on the right side. It was quite warm this weekend – from the deep freeze to almost-summer in one week! As a result, Faeryn was quite lethargic on Friday when I rode her, but much better on Saturday during our lesson.
I have had a tendancy to push her out too much when I am asking ‘inside hind to outside rein’ and as a result, she is carrying her haunches slightly out at times. That also helps her avoid carrying weight on her inside hind. We did some shoulder in, and then did some haunches in on a circle. The thing she needs most is renvers – and that’s the hardest thing for her. which is why she needs it! In fact, when I first asked for renvers to the right at a walk, Faeryn kept breaking into a canter to avoid doing the movement. I never get upset over stuff like that. In fact, I was laughing at Faeryn’s histrionics about WORKING SOOOOO HARD. I felt like a parent with a whiny teenager! LOL! “BUT MOM NONE OF THE OTHER KIDS HAVE TO DO THAT!! MOM, IT’S HARD!!”
She finally DID do it, and it IS hard for her. But, it will get easier. And then we’ll move on to the next thing that’s hard for her. 😉
I took Fling today and another super, super productive lesson. Marie had me start with her deep, like we’ve been doing, and then try and give the inside and outside rein once I got her there. We want her deep(er) but we do not want her to fall on her forehand, and she still needs to carry herself. Then she had me do walk/trot transitions, keeping her deep through the transition. We moved on to canter quickly, since that’s the gait that needs the most improvement, and is the ‘key’ to improving our flying changes. Marie noted that she braces during the changes, and that’s one of our problems. I got her really round at the canter and I could immediately tell the difference in the quality of her canter. Then we worked on transitions – focusing on trying to keep her from relying on her neck for the depart so she would learn to use her back more. In the canter, her back was more up and she was more ‘through.’ But she still wants to use her neck and head for balance in the up transitions instead of the canter ‘originating’ from her back. She had one really good depart where I could definitely feel that her back stayed really ‘up’ in the depart, with a feeling that the canter originated in her back instead of her head/neck — if that makes any sense! We got better departs than we’d had from the walk, but did not manage to ‘nail’ it like she did in that one from trot. That’s ok – this is a new thing we’re asking her to do and it’s a process.
I was very happy and excited when we finished. I feel like we’ve hit upon the key to taking Fling from a 60% Third level horse to a horse that could be seriously schooling FEI in another year.
When I got home, I rounded up Faeryn and had a SUPER ride on her. She is reponding better to the half halts, she was much more ‘adjustable’ in the trot and the canter, and she didn’t whine NEARLY as much about the renvers as she did yesterday 😉 — and she’s ‘standing up’ at the canter better. She had some really good work in the shallow loop serpentine, which she couldn’t even DO in December, and I also ran through parts of the new First level test 3.
Faxx was up next…..I am trying to do more lateral work with him haunches in, shoulder in, large schooling turns on the haunches. He was a little fussier in the bridle today than yesterday, but I just ignored it. I also worked on transitions forward and back. So far nothing I’ve ‘tested’ on him is difficult – but the entire key to Faxx is getting him to accept quiet contact with the bit. I think the lateral work will help him develop quiet contact – that, and just tons of transitions. I also did some spiral in and out at the canter, and he has no trouble with a 10 meter canter circle. I think he is closer to second level than i think. But the toughest thing for him will be the canter walk transitions since he will really have to stay connected and through to do them well.
Very good weekend when I can ride all three horses both days. I am bushed!