Archive for March, 2004
Missouri Fox Trotter Starts Show Horse Career after “Kicking” the PaceA magical thing happened in March. We found the secret to life and JR started fox trotting consistently. At the time we were at the point where I could keep him in a fox trot about half way the long wall of the arena, but he would speed up to a hard trot, pace or slow down to a flat foot walk. He also started that popup gait. We would be fox trotting along with three legs and one front leg would canter.
The secret to life is a circle about the size of a reining horse small circle. It’s got to be big enough to easily get around at all the gaits, but small enough to make it just a bit difficult to pace. For all you Parelli people, we are talking about two marked bulls eye circles with the question box in the middle.
It’s called a pattern. The circle is marked at 4 sides and these are the important places. When the horse does “something right”, he gets to rest besides one of the important places.
The idea is to have your horse go in the circle without touching the reins. That took about two hours of riding over a period of two days. Next, my idea was to go in the circle without touching the reins and complete one full circle at a perfect fox trot. We fox trotted, we hard trotted, we popped up, and we paced. It probably took about 15 minutes and we had our complete circle at the fox trot. Also, I didn’t touch the reins. JR maintained the fox trot and the circle without my hands touching the reins.
I was pretty excited about this. I then took JR out to the arena wall and we glided down the long side of the arena. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to press my luck, so we stopped and rested in the corners. This is the 4 corner game. It helps horses stay on the wall. (It also speeds up slow horses and slows down fast horses.)
I quit fox trotting after we did one complete tour of the arena wall. I was flabbergasted at my success.
Not ready to leave the saddle yet, I decided to canter in half of the arena. We cantered along and were doing so well, that I decided to try for a flying lead change. In the middle of the arena, I reversed directions to the left instead of the right. I almost fell off JR (in shock) when he did a flying lead change! We screached to a halt and I flew off his back. He was rewarded by a lot of petting and some nice treats after that.
JR and I have now been practicing our purity of gait with and without the circle pattern. We are now ready to enter the show ring. We can flat foot walk and fox trot consistently. JR looks gorgeous when he is strutting his stuff! YEE HAW!!!
There’s a fund raiser fun type show coming up on April 10th at Showtime Equestrain Center. JR and I…and the rest of the Pine Dell Farm friends and boarders and going to participate.
A friend of mine is riding Velvet. My friend is very excited. I told her our friendship stops at the gate! ha The Showtime Spring Show might be the next story…..