Monday, February 17, 2014

Human - 1, Horse - 1/2

I am not sure that score is fair, but I am the one with the fingers and there were no unbiased judges present so I am making the call.

Had my first after work visit to the barn today and it was a ghost town.  Someone was leaving as I got there and that was it for other people.  Heaven!  Just what my misanthropic tendencies needed.  I decided to let Fawkes run in the indoor before riding (come on Daylight Savings Time, momma wants to ride outside in the evening).  This is where the competition began.

There is a gate that closes the indoor entrance and Fawkes decided that doing sliding stops into the gate would be So. Much. Fun.  I was not a fan and pulled a jump standard over to the gate. Like so:
This is a horse that snorts at flower pots, surely this will prevent him from running at the gate, right?


At least it made him slow down when he ran into the corner.  That is why I am calling it a partial victory.  If only he would use his powers for good instead of evil.

Broke out the black tack and hopped on.  I came in with a vengeance as I wanted to use engaging work to prevent any random spookiness.  Lots of walk/trot transitions, leg yields, circles, serpentines, and turn on the haunches.  Attempts at getting him to stretch down, again with varying success.  Will definitely need to get into that with the new trainer.

Did trot/canter/trot transitions which Fawkes hates and I love.  It makes his canter so collected and fluffy.  Fluffy is possibly not an appropriate dressage term, but that is how it feels.  Then tried walk/canter transitions which we both loathe.  We have only started mixing them in a couple months ago and I think they made Fawkes' brain completely explode.  He just does not understand why he would do this stupid thing.

Glowing eyes of love 
Since progress has been so nonexistent slow, I started incorporating a few into every ride.  Sometimes, he is all over it.  Sometimes he acts like I am asking him to fly to the moon.  He is absolutely masterful at squeezing 1.5 trot strides into the transition which is irritating, but I have been ok with that to date.  However I am not ok with the walk/trot/flail/canter transition.  Although if that ever is added to a dressage test, y'all can just give the neck ribbons to us, because we have that one down.

Not even sure dressage does neck ribbons.  But I digress.

Tonight was one of those "impossible, mom" nights. He rushed, he flailed, he went sideways, he counterbent, he did it but picked up the wrong lead.  OK, fine, I will take the blame for those and he gets praised no matter which lead at this stage of the game.  We finally got a good one each direction and I called it quits.  In paranoid horse owner world, his breathing was sounding vaguely funny the whole ride.  Nothing was apparently wrong but he sounded almost congested. Hoping it was nothing.

He was much improved in the scary cross ties tonight.  Yay!


  1. I think 'fluffy' should be used more often in dressage, very descriptive!

  2. Replies
    1. I will take whatever victories I can get!