Clinic, lesson reports and the deluge!

I had every intention of getting up early this morning and riding Faxx and Faeryn before our forecasted rain. But the rain showed up early – as in the middle of the night – and did not stop until after 3 p.m.  You cannot tell where our pasture ends and the pond begins. There have been widespread tornado watches and all the bayous are out of their banks. To give you an idea of the magnitude – the Medical Center was closed due to the threat of flooding from the nearby bayous. So definitely no riding today – and so much for getting some work done on my arena – I was going to try and finally finish it.

Fortunately it did not rain on the Debbie Bowman clinic this past weekend. I rode Fling both days. The first day she worked really, really hard. First I pointed out to Debbie that she seemed to be drifting to the left a lot when i was going right – and Debbie diagnosed it as another evasion to using her right hind more. So we worked a lot on controlling the drifting and even counterflexing her a bit to ‘force’ her onto the right hind. We did ‘squares’ at the walk, trot and canter, controlling the drifting at each gait. Then we moved to working on the canter – asking her to carry more on her haunches and also doing some haunches in on the circle at the canter. One of the reasons I was not getting a good haunches in at canter is that I did not have her bent enough around my inside leg. I need to think of having as much bend in the canter when I ask for haunches in as I do in the turns on the haunches. We also worked on half pass at the trot and canter, and also the flying changes after the half pass. We finished up with asking for half steps. I spent about 10 minutes alternating between super collected trot steps and then sending her forward. It was warmer than it had been and Fling’s neck and butt were lathered when we finished!  On Sunday the ‘drifting’ was almost nonexistant. We did some more work in half pass and more haunches in on the canter. Then we moved to working on our flying changes – the big bad bugagoo. Some progress there and Debbie gave me some exercises to do to try and fix a bad habit _I_ taught her. I tend to pull her over when I ask for the change – fearing that was the only way she would get the change. So now she is diving into the direction of the new lead when she changes. Debbie had me do changes across the centerline on the short side and focus only on the straightness  – and instead of turning after the change, we stopped. And if she got crooked before the change – I was to not ask fro the change but come to walk/halt and then just do a simple change – but STRAIGHT. Super good clinic and I think Debbie is beginning to see Fling as an upper level horse. I am aiming to show her Fourth level this spring.

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