The road to fourth level

I am trying to decide when Fling and I will make our Fourth level debut at a recognized show. There is a show St. Patrick’s Day weekend but the entry due date is next week and I am starting my new job (more about that in a future post) most likely Feb. 13. Fourth level is as much mental work as it is physical work and I do not want to go to a show when I have too much going else going on in my life and in in my head. On top of starting the job, my master bath/bedroom construction project is probably not going to be finished by the time I start the job, so I will be juggling parts of that as well.But, I do not want to mess around with this and let time slip away without getting out there and taking a run at fourth level. It has been more than a year since I showed her last. And I tell myself Fling is not going to live forever. If I have learned anything from having horses, it’s that they can break your heart nine ways to Sunday. And you cannot always count on being able to do something ‘next week’, ‘next month’ or even ‘tomorrow.’ For all their power, they are fragile creatures. And I have one that is flirting with FEI level work, and who loves the hard work – in fact, thrives on it. This is a gift and I need to, as the move line goes, “Seize the day.”

Today I took a lesson at Marie’s. The arena had tons of standing water but we found space to work on our canter, and piaffe half steps. I have found that doing the  half steps greatly improves the collection in her canter. We also worked on schooling canter pirouettes. I have to fix MY position before we can really do a half one. I keep thinking piro, but what happens is a small circle. Marie says I really need to think more about pushing her shoulders around the circle and sit more to the outside. Normally you would sit to the inside but I am sitting too much to the inside and looking too much to the inside. Marie and friends watching today all said Fling will totally be a canter pirouette machine when I ‘get it.’

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