By Charlotte Cannon
Fox Point Farm
 
Life here has been crazy busy, but wonderful!
 
First our Fox Point Farm/Showing Naturally Demo Team is going great guns right now! We have had 5 or 6 Demos this winter/spring and the requests for us to perform keep pouring in! The girls have really improved and added so much fun stuff to their routines, I'm always amazed at their new ideas! If you are having and event, we would love to come perform! 
 
demo team
Dance with the Demo Team at the Pee Dee Horse Festival
 
Right now our demo team has grown from 6 to 17 riders. This is wonderful bc it gives us a deep pool of talent from which to pull. We have some new breeds that have really added some spice and interest as well. I'm super pumped for the future! I'd love to see us perform at the Tryon Friday Night Lights this summer. 
 
Second our retired racehorses (OTTBS) for this year's TB Makeover are developing well. I'm super excited to see how far they can go by October. 
 
Tommy's Twitch continues to improve in his dressage work. Twitch arrived with only a left lead, and it was a very tense, balled up left lead. Through consistent riding by Tommy and regular lessons with Nancy Tans from Camden, Twitch has relaxed quite a bit and developed a good right lead now. After a fun weekend at the Fork with Tik Maynard, Tommy and Twitch really started working on sending Twitch forward to relaxation. They have successfully done two little hunter shows in flat classes for experience. Their first dressage show will be the first Sunday in June in Camden. 
 
My Fame continues to improve and amaze me. We just had another big step forward this weekend with my first walk/trot/canter bridleless ride. I had had a lovely flatwork session working especially on keeping him going forward responsive to and consistently in front of my leg. At the end I just leaned forward and took off his bridle sitting on his back. We proceeded to w/t/c all around the ring, safely and calmly. Tommy even said Fame was stretching better without the bridle. Our steering could use some work, but I was thrilled! 
 
Fame 1
Charlotte's niece, Chapin, with Fame!
 
Fame has also been doing a bit of cool liberty work. I need to dedicate more time to it, bc he is deeply connected and talented at it. He is quite good at the 'Stick to Me' game, and we are working to get him to the point he can easily switch sides and be equally good on both sides. Our breakthrough thing we have now done on 3 occasions is the 'Circling Game' with me in neutral. I've had horses before that would circle, even trot and canter, around me if I was turning with them. Never have I had one that would stay connected without me turning. At our last clinic with Tik, he set that goal for me, and Fame has now started doing it. We are still on baby steps, one or two circles at the walk or trot, it's a tremendous milestone for me and I'm thrilled! 
 
Fame and Bill
 
We did take him to his first bigger hunter show with 'real color'. Bill Calvert that comes and helps me every week with Fame showed him in his first 2'3" and 2'6" courses. Bill has really helped push me to stay progressive. If it were up to me, I would likely have stuck with the local schooling shows and done cross rails, slowly building up to 'real jumps and real color'. They did well, jumped all the jumps, even got a few lead changes and nice ribbons in big classes. Ribbons were not my goal, a positive, safe experience was, and Fame and Bill delivered that in spades. My boy is really coming along well and I couldn't be more thrilled! 
 
The last OTTB we got is our gorgeous Dance. He is the boy that makes jaws drop everywhere we go. He was just far more tight, tense and racy than the other two boys. I started with some solid groundwork that really helped Dance relax and learn to stretch his head and neck down. I brought that over into his riding and it helped him learn to trust and let go of all his tight baggage. Bill started riding him once a week to keep me accountable and motivated, but it wasn't until my student and friend Savanna started riding him that the biggest improvements were made. 
 
Savanna had sold her horse and was without a mount to enjoy. I trusted her, she has been with me over 10 years and is quite a hand, so I offered for her to ride Dance. They had a dicey moment or two at the beginning, but once he connected with her, they have catapulted forward. She was out here riding the night before our big benefit when the music started for demo team practice. She stayed that night and practiced with the team. She actually participated the next day in the demo, and has done two demos now away from home. I'm amazed that this huge, formerly spooky, tight, tense horse who has only been off the track for 4 months, is out there, with no Ace or drugs on board, totally relaxed leading the choreography! She even does liberty in the shows with him! I must say it's the fastest, greatest transformation I've seen! I think even Bill is impressed with her progress! It's amazing what trust and connection can do for a horse! 
 
Lessons are going well. Summer camp is full. Life is great at Fox Point Farm!