I’ve tried several times in the past week to post here, but it never showed my log in screen, so I could not post! I found a back door in.
The weather is finally cooperating! We still have wet spots in the pasture,. but the arena is dry. Only half of it is still usable – I have talked to my dozer guy and hopefully we will get a break in the rain in the next month or so and will be able to finish it. Or at the very least get to the next step – which is to fine tune the base by adding fill (I have a pile next to the arena that should be enough), scrape the sand off the one remaining corner and also the old bad base underneath it. Then it needs to rain on that a few times to make sure it is crowned enough and has no low spots, and THEN we can put the sand back on it.
In the meantime, my new job is going well, although the learning curve is steep and I have little ‘mental energy’ left for much else. Plus I get home about 20 minutes later than I used to, and once when it was raining it took me two hours to get home. Despite all that, with the help of the time change, I have managed to get back in a riding routine.
Connie my barn help works M/W/F so those days I ride Faeryn and Fling. On T/Th I clean stalls and ride Faxx. On the weekend I try to ride all three each day but that doesn’t always happen. I am still working on my master bath – and the weekend is the only time I can devote any energy or time to that.
However, they all are benefiting from the regular schedule – Faxx probably most of all. He is learning walk/canter, his shoulder in is getting better, he is working on turn on the haunches and half pass. His half pass to the left is getting almost show quality – we won’t talk about the HP to the right! 😉
Faeryn is getting much better in her self-carriage and is no longer impersonating a ship’s anchor! We are doing half steps and she is learning to shorten and lengthen her stride just from my seat. The canter is improved, her half passes are show quality most days.
Fling was a star the other day – getting 3 reallly good strides of canter pirouette, and managing three ‘sets’ of the canter half pass zig zag… ie, half pass, flying change as you change direction of half pass, then change direction again in half pass and do another change, and then back again. I had hoped to show her fourth level this spring, but had too much going on in my life. i am now aiming for a May show, and plan to also show her in June, and between the two shows I get my two 60s I need at Fourth level toward my Silver. And then next year, the goal is Prix St. Georges. I can hardly believe it myself! I love her so much and she is such a cheerful worker bee! I think even Debbie Bowman has been impressed with her lately and the other day I commented to marie that maybe Faeryn would be a better upper level horse than Fling and she said to me, “Fling is a pretty darned good upper level horse.” I love her so much and just wish horses did not have such short lifespans compared to humans.
Despite the rain, I hauled to Marie’s for a lesson on Faeryn this morning. It was sprinkling on us as we tacked up and untacked, but oddly enough was not raining while we were actually riding in the covered arena.
Marie reminded me again that I need to really raise the bar on Faeryn. The reason she is pulling my arms out of their sockets is that she is not carrying enough weight behind, and also just plain not carrying herself. So we did many transitions, and also a lot of work in renvers because she also is not using her right hind as much as her left hind. So we did a lot if work in renvers at trot and canter. That also turned out to be the ‘fix’ for the slight head tilt she’s had for probably a year now. It would come and go, but never completely went away. We also started working on half steps and Marie said I need to keep her shorter in the frame, more rocked back on her haunches and ask her to take quicker – but not faster – steps. Faeryn was definitely not happy to be told that ‘the jig is up’ and she is going to have to work harder from now on, and threw some ‘mini tantrums’ to show her displeasure. When I would give ‘the mother of all half halts’ to get her back to her haunches, she would just shake her head – but then she would respond to the half halt. At one point during the lesson she was in such terrific self-carriage that I could just give the reins – she was so light. So, I have my homework. I need to ride Faeryn like I ride Fling.
It was very windy today and that is not the best time to ride Faeryn as she hates the wind and does at least one fairly impressive bolt – but predictably whenever I turn her with her rear end to the wind. Today she was pulling my arms out. I do not know if the wind had anything to do with it or if she was just feeling lazy but it took me half the ride to convince her to listen to me and quit leaning on my hands AND ignoring my half halts. I had to deliver many “Come to Jesus” half halts just to get her attention. And repeated, through clenched teeth, “Carry your own %$#@ self!” many, many times. It took awhile but it got better, and actually ended with some very nice canter. Still working on the slight head tilt she has, only going to the left, and only at the canter. I was telling Debbie Bowman about it last weekend, since I did not actually ride Faeryn in the clinic, and she said it probably would need to be fixed at the trot, even though it showed it self during the canter.
Fling was good. I ran through parts of the Fourth 1 test. I am taking her to a nearby schooling show tomorrow to ride through the test. Still trying to pick a place and a date for her Fourth level recognized show debut.