It takes a village to make a dressage horse and rider!

I’ve been struggling with flying changes for years, and it’s what’s been holding Fling from advancing. I take all the blame for our problems – when I started teaching her flying changes, I had not even ever ridden a flying change on a trained horse. Since Fling is a ‘one person’ horse, sending her to a trainer to put changes on her was not an option.

I have been training with Marie Morgan for a number of years now and she is great – patient, correct and classical. And she coached Fling and I to our Bronze medal and to Fourth, earning both scores I need at Fourth for my Silver medal.

But we were definitely stuck. And I really needed to start working on flying changes with Faeryn, but I was afraid I would make the same mistakes as I made with Fling, and  didn’t really want to send her away to someone.

Pati Pierucci had been coming to a friend’s farm for a few months and she suggested I try to see if she could help me with Fling. Pati really helped me with Fling and with just a few sessions we were finally getting clean single changes reliably. So now she’s helping me with Faeryn. Pati has ridden her a few times and we are in the ‘making the canter better’ phase before Pati will start asking for changes.

I had never shown above Fourth 1 due to the difficulty, but I showed Fourth 3 at several schooling shows and at the HDS Schooling Show Championships. Four 3 has a schooling canter pirouette and one canter half pass zigzag. She still can’t do the tempi changes – but that is what we are working on and hopefully this year she will be ready to show Prix St. Georges and we can finish our Silver medal. Here are a  few great shots of her from the HDS Schooling Show Championships. She was a freight train during the class because she was scared of the arena – the canter photo is from Saturday and you can see the tension – but look at how she is sitting. I am prepping her for a canter pirouette here.

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