Kaswyn's foot is really healing up nicely, and I've kept it unwrapped for a few days. Since it is almost healed I've ridden him twice, and he feels really good. He's picked up weight and is getting much stronger. He still has a ways to go, but I think we're on a slow uphill climb back to getting in shape.
I'm also riding Albert, but I'm not working on the flying changes. He just got himself so upset about it that his counter-canter got very tense and crooked. So I've been working on counter-canter with a simple change of lead through the walk and he seems to accept this as not completely scary. He's also really getting the hang of trot and canter half-passes. The trot half-passes are pretty good both directions, but he's having a hard time with the canter half-pass left. He'll get it though. And his trot lengthenings are getting really big! Good thing he likes to do them now.
I know I said that I couldn't possibly ride Kaswyn, Albert, and Fire, but of course I've been squeezing all three horses in. Fire's owner can't help right now, but Susan helps when she can (which I really appreciate!). When I'm done at the barn I'm really tired, but I think this is good for me. Building the horses up is one thing, but also I need to be able to ride both of them at Nationals and not be exhausted. At the last show I wasn't sure I was going to make it though the warm-up for my last class. My abs were screaming and I was just pooped. I said to my trainer's mom "I don't know how she (my trainer) can ride more than one horse at a show! I'm SO tired!" and she said "Well, she rides eight to ten horses a day, every day."That got me to thinking that I should suck it up if I can and ride all three. There will be days when I just don't have time, but I'm going to try and stick it out.
I had Susan video a bit of my ride on Fire on Friday. I'm putting these videos up with YouTube instead of the Blogger video tool. Which platform do you all like better? Blogger, or YouTube?
This is Fire trotting. He is trained as a saddle seat horse, so he is used to having his neck up in the air. He is probably also used to being able to use his neck to elevate his front end, so at times he tries to use his neck when he trots and is getting tired. That might be why he looks uneven and maybe even lame sometimes. Also he is just figuring out the whole "connection with the bit" thing, since he is also trained to back off of the bit instead of meet the rider's hand halfway. Still, at times he looks like h e has some potential.
Fire cantering. He's very wiggly and crooked, and the first time I asked him to canter in a circle I thought he would fall down! I'm sure he didn't canter in circles much. Also, saddle seat horses never pick up the canter from the trot, they always do it from the walk. This allows the rider to push the horse to the limit at the trot and the horse knows just to trot bigger and not canter. So I asked for the canter from the walk. I don't have any walk footage of him, but he has a very nice walk. MUCH nicer than Kaswyn's and even a bit better than Albert's.
So that's what I've been doing. I'm not sure how long I can keep it up, but I'm going to try.