The only good thing about being unemployed is I have more time to take riding lessons. I have cut back in many areas so I can take advantage of having more time for my ‘riding education’ even though I currently have less money.
So Wednesday I took Faern for a lesson and we continued our work on getting me to ride her right side more and encourage her to carry herself more, shorten her frame and also to get ME to quit ‘helping’ her so much at the canter. Not that I should “throw her away” but I need to trust her to carry herself, and allow her to make the mistake of maybe breaking to the trot so I can make the correction so she will learn that it is her responsibility to a) keep cantering until I tell her otherwise, by just following her with my seat and b) weight her hind legs more. Marie said she takes back her statement that I have to ride her like she is a second level horse – she says I really need to ride her like she is a THIRD level horse. And speaking of third level, Marie had a ‘pop quiz’ on half pass at the trot. I have dabbled with it on Faeryn at the walk, and only a little bit at the trot. Marie told me to do it at the trot. And Marie was pleasantly surprised and I was even MORE surprised at how well she did. 😉
And today I took Faxx for a lesson. This was a milestone of sorts – it is the first time I have taken a lesson on him, or taken him anywhere, since he launched me in mid-September. My back still hurts from that. He was a good boy and did not mind the dump trucks that have been working endlessly on the property behind Marie’s. And the cold weather did not make him silly at all. He worked well and I got some much needed help going to the right. It has always been his ‘worst’ side – he really does not want to bend – but it has gotten worse with not enough riding or eyes on the ground. Today I got some expert eyes to ‘diagnose’ and give me a ‘prescription’ for fixing the problem. It’s not just that he does not want to bend to the right. He is also LEANING to the right while going to the right to avoid bending. Now I know why his saddle keeps slipping to the right all the time!! We did some spiraling in and out circles and also haunches in on the circle to help remedy that. So we have some good homework and a recipe to fix the current problem.
The Houston Dressage Society awards banquet is Feb. 3. I have been informed that Faeryn has won ‘something’ — either champion or reserve champion in the schooling show division. She qualified for First and Second levels, but I think they have a rule that there has to be at least two other people who qualified at a level to be eligible to get an award. So she may have just won something at First level. Last year she was Reserve Champion at First level by just a fraction of a point. It would be nice if she was a Champion this year.