Yikes – it’s May already?

My last post here was in January. That’s how busy I’ve been. Thankfully the long, cold, wet winter finally ended and my riding can move to the top priority. The goals for this year are for Faeryn to show second level at recognized shows and hopefully qualify for our Regional Championships, which take place in October. Despite the absolutely rotten time we had last year – the lowest score of her career – I feel I’ve got to keep going at it until we get over the “Championships Curse.”  She’s working well and has gone to several schooling shows – our last was under a licensed “S” judge and she got a 64 and 65+ so I think she’s ready. But with our show season almost half over, and two shows for Faeth coming up in May, it’s probably going to be July before I can get her to a show. Her collection has improved and I finally feel like there really is an upper level horse in there. Her canter has improved immensely and I am challenging her more to go beyond her comfort level with collection and just playing around with harder movements. I’ve even started doing large schooling canter pirouettes  with her. She is learning to sit surprisingly well, given her short flat croup. And she does not seem to mind the harder work.

Fling is rocking and rolling! Her canter has gotten a lot more collected and her self carriage is getting awesome. I have started riding through some of the Prix St. Georges text. The new movements are 8 meter volte at trot, a steeper half pass at trot and canter, ‘baby’ canter half pass zig zag with flying change in the middle, canter pirouettes and…the dreaded 3 and 4 tempis. I have no doubt she’ll be able to nail everything but the tempis. Those will always be a ‘wing and a prayer’ thing. Fortunately, she is going to be able to score decently on everything else, so hopefully we can afford two bad scores. All I care about is getting 60% to finish my USDF Silver medal.Her half passes are very good and with more practice, she’ll get better at the half pass, flying change , and change direction of half pass. In just the past two weeks, a light bulb went off in her head and she ‘gets’ the canter pirouette. It may not be quite small enough  yet, but it’s light years ahead of where we were just a month ago. I don’t know when I’ll feel ready to show her at a recognized show, but I am hoping for a small show in November. If not then, maybe January. There are some schooling shows in the fall, and even if she is not ready, I will probably take her to one or two just to ride through the test in a show situation.

Miss Faeth has her own Wintec saddle now and has learned to lunge and wear the saddle. I had her wolf teeth pulled last month, so probably late summer she’ll start serious ground work. She’ll learn to wear the bridle and be lunged in it first, then I’ll start ground driving her so she will know the aids for turning and stopping before someone gets on her. I may or may not get on her before sending her off to be started under saddle. I’ve been leaning and lying over her back and she doesn’t seem to care. She is going to another show Memorial Day weekend to show in hand, and then the following weekend she will go to Ft. Worth for the Arab/Half Arab Sport Horse Regional Championships. It’s a 5-6 hour drive and I am not looking forward to it one bit. I hate the facility at Ft. Worth and am still angry that the regional Arabian politicos moved it from its own separate show in Waco, which I, and almost every other sport horse exhibitor loved, to throw it back with the general crazy Arab English pleasure/western pleasure stuff at Will Rogers in Ft. Worth. I wouldn’t even go except I think Faeth is very competitive and want to see how she does.

And that’s where we are now! And hopefully it won’t be another 4.5 months before I post again!

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