I have been trying to batch updates because there is just not that much to go on about. Fawkes gets plenty of trainer rides and gets glowing reports from teacher. She reiterates that he is not going to start respecting my right leg over night with no relapses so we need to take the small victories. Interestingly, she is also getting a bit tough love with him and commented that it is time he learns to accept correction and discipline without over reacting. That was one of our main goals - basically to desensitize him - so I am glad she is already able to start incorporating that.
On Thursday, it was new shoes day.
|Can you feel the excitement?|
I wanted to pull his hind shoes for winter and get rid of the pads but we decided to go conservatively and leave the pads on for one more cycle since he was so flinchy at the hoof tester. And I don't want to risk him being sore when I go out of the country for two weeks over Christmas. In January, I am more willing to lose a week to footsoreness.
His feet have taken a bit of a beating lately including the still freaking growing out crack from stepping on himself 6 months ago and from pulling a shoe on the other front last cycle. However, while they look a little bit rat-chewed, on the whole they are doing ok. I took pictures before the new shoes went on:
This morning we actually had a riding lesson! Amazing this riding your horse thing. It was a really good ride. I apparently have developed a lovely new habit of shoving my foot forward (noooo) so we got to work on that. And with Fawkes it was more of the same old: marching walk, not meandering, outside rein, moving off whichever leg, and transitions within the trot. He is spectacular off the left leg and there are some improvements off the right. I know he used to be able to do this which makes me speculate how much he was compensating for his hurt back and for how long. Anyways, sticking with the here and now, we also re-introduced canter transitions and going forward immediately after the transition.
I can't really think of much he did wrong during the flat work. A couple times he inverted but was correct much more often than not. Most of the attention was on me and my equitation flaws (post softer, tuck your butt, elbows do the transitions). Then we moved onto poles and even some cross rails. Getting him straight with my right aids (tracking left) to the poles/jump is still insanely challenging but going the other way was easy peasy. And I noticed one small change that may or may not be significant. Because he is Fawkes, he always jumps even little cross rails. Usually he gets really close and takes a sort of trot chip step. Today, he left that chippy step out and confidently jumped from farther away. I got left behind over the smallest jump imaginable the first time because he has never done that before. Something to keep an eye out for.
In other animal news, we took on a foster dog for a local border collie rescue. This is Gizmo: