Two-point improvement

Thursday it finally cooled down enough that riding wouldn’t be absolutely insane to do. So I went out. And I realized I pulled a 7 year old horse out of Scarlet’s stall. I hadn’t ridden in 5 days so I knew he would be a bit excited but come on. I have a senior horse! I’m not expecting this level of excitement.

It was fun though. He was really up and forward. I’ve been working on applying forward forward forward and not using my hands to pull him back to me. That plus his energy from not getting out for five days made a really energetic ride.

I didn’t have a problem with his speed until I wanted to try to time my two-point. Getting up into position too my weight off his back and put me slightly more forward. This signaled that it was time for him to just run at the trot. It ended up being a lot of me circling him and giving him corrections while trying to maintain my two-point. I did manage to get 6:12 for my time but that was definitely harder than I thought it would be. The pace of his trot also threw off my balance some. I wanted to try to stay up for more but my hamstrings were so tight and complaining that I had to just stop and stretch my legs.

Friday, I had run earlier in the day and was very tired when I came out to ride. Scarlet was still energetic for the ride and I decided not to really try for an overall better time for two-point when I couldn’t maintain for more than a minute. My legs were tired and wanted a day off. So I just did short bursts of a minute-ish of two-point while trotting over some poles and cross rails. It was overall probably around 10 minutes of two-point but it wasn’t as difficult on my body as holding it for that time. Still good practice though.

Saturday, I had planned on getting out in the morning but my husband and I went to go see Kingsman 2 around noon so I changed to the evening in order to fit that in better. (Great movie, definitely recommend) Scarlet wasn’t as energetic with everything but another person had her two Arabs exercising in the round pens by the arena. As Arabs do, they were running around and snorting, tails up. Scarlet was a little looky due to that (Obviously they see something you don’t mom. I’m just keeping an eye out for the monsters.) But he was very responsive overall. After most of my warm up, I stopped to chat with her and we talked about Arabs and their personalities for a bit. Scarlet got lots of praise for his looks and his movement. (He is gorgeous but I’m obviously biased so I love when other people compliment him as well.)

He and one of her Arabs got to say hi to each other and Scarlet was not happy that I insisted he continues working when the other horse was walking away. We were cantering though so he got over that quite quickly.

Completely warmed up, I again tried to get more time for my two-point final time. It’s so hard to hold it for so long. Scarlet actually trotted at a more sane pace for the most part. I had a couple of false starts but ultimately held for 7:30. Lots of circles, a few change of directions and so many rounds of the arena. It’s definitely getting a little boring. Unfortunately, I’m doing all I can to just maintain the two-point after around 3:30. After 4 minutes, everything is just pain and breathing while focusing on staying up. This challenge is really helping me improve my time but I need to keep it up after the month is over. I need to be able to actually ride while in the two-point as well someday. I’m going to continue trying to improve over the next couple of days so I have the best possible time for the final day of 2pointober.

Coming up, November. I have a lot of things going on in November. Horse wise, I’m going to be trying to do no stirrup November. But my main project is something else. I will be participating in NaNoWriMo. The goal of the challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve been participating for 7 years now and I’ve won the challenge two years running now. Recently, I just finished my novel that I started last year’s nano. I’m very excited to see how my writing changes for this nano. My primary focus writing wise will be getting 1667 words or more written a day on my novel. I don’t know how many posts will get up in November for this blog. I will try to update, even if it is just a little. If anyone wants to join me on the quest for 50k words, you can add me as a buddy. Its free to join and a lot of fun, even if you don’t win. My username is Tymesplit.


I didn’t get out this weekend due to the parents being here. Yesterday was the only time I saw Scarlet and that was for as quick as possible.

I went out around 5ish and it was still 104ish at the barn. Possibly hotter. Surprise of all was Scarlet had kept his freaking fly mask on. He has a new buddy that is ripping off all his flymasks, again. This time, the horse just tore the cloth off the end so it’s probably not as comfortable for Scarlet now. I may have to take a look at the Roma ones again.

I pulled Scarlet out and gave him a super quick spray down. Even it being as hot as it is, Scarlet still didn’t appreciate the bath. He will never like water.


After, I let him eat a tiny bit of grain while I unwrapped and rewrapped his leg. It looks good still. Not too much improvement from my picture on Friday but it still looks good.

I really hope the weather stays cool after this Thursday. Its almost the end of October and I’d like my cooler weather to come, please!

10/24 leg update



Improving and more weird weather

I was able to ride a few times this week since the weather dropped for a bit mid heat wave. In fact, it got downright chilly in the evening. Of course, that meant Scarlet was very up during our rides. He wasn’t bad though so I just rode the wiggles out of him. We never really seemed to lose energy during the ride. It was very exciting and quick the whole time. I felt like he was more connected to me hand since I was just urging him forward the whole ride. I’ve tried to be very conscious lately of pushing him forward into my hand and not pulling back on him. It’s very difficult to do. I have to focus on that with every cue or I’ll fall back into pulling.

I did get some practice with the two point in and was able to hold for 5 minutes. I probably could have held longer but it is so hard. My lower back really needs to strengthen up to match my other muscles.

More Two-Point

2pointober is more than halfway through at this point. I’ve been working hard at it and I’ve improved a lot. It’s really nice to have a goal to work towards where I’m accountable to someone besides myself. I mean, I don’t have to keep practicing. Nothing happens if I don’t do well or don’t continue to give improving updates. But there is someone there who is watching what I do. And that definitely helps motivate me.

Monday I didn’t ride due to heat but I did go out and change Scarlet’s bandage. He was very good about standing still while I changed it in his stall. Except for his head. He kept sniffing the top of my head and breathing in my ear. My ears are quite ticklish so it was really hard to focus while he was doing that. Silly horse. I’ll post wound progress pics at the bottom. The one on the left is from Oct 9th and the right is Oct 13th. Both before I cleaned the gunk off and wrapped it up again.

Tuesday it was slightly cooler so I did get out to ride. I didn’t plan on hardly doing anything since I wasn’t sure how fast it was going to cool. We w/t/c around for warm up and threw in some circles there. I was trying to focus on pushing him forward into my hands at the trot to get him to lift his back and connect. I have noticed that I’m pulling back more when asking for connection and that just really isn’t going to cut it. The trot seemed to feel better and more loose quicker but I need to do this more times before really seeing if I’m making a difference. It could have been he felt good that day.

The canter definitely bounced along. I felt like we got a lot more air but it didn’t feel up and down even though he was bunched up underneath me. It was definitely harder to sit than normal. A good sign I think.

I did my two-point and had a few false starts. Those are so annoying. Especially when you get to 80 seconds and then touch the saddle. However, I  managed to hold it till 4:09 which I am so happy about. My lower back hurt soooo badly afterward though. It took our full cooldown walk with my feet out of the stirrups for my back to loosen up. I really need to figure out how to strengthen that up.

The clip seems to have helped. I thought we sweated less but our ride was a bit later in the day than normal. I’ll just have to see how the clip holds up as the heat continues. (Seriously wtf SoCal? WTF?!)

less sweat

Short Update

The next few posts are probably only going to be short updates as well. It’s going to be 90 degrees or higher for almost this whole week. That is freaking insane. Isn’t it October? Isn’t it almost Halloween? WTF California weather?! I won’t be riding much if it is that hot. It’s uncomfortable and not fair to either of us. Also, my parents are coming into town this weekend so I most likely won’t be getting any weekend rides in either.

I got out early on Saturday and Sunday to try and beat the heat. Early for me isn’t all that early. (8-8:30) but on a weekend? Yeah, that’s early.

Saturday we worked a lot on circles while warming up. I’ve noticed that we have had an issue of speeding up the last 1/3 of the circle and I have been trying to fix that. Half halts sometimes work but lately, most of the bad work has been because I haven’t been able to get Scarlet to focus his brain on me. It’s hard because I have used a lot of my tricks I normally used to get him to focus and he either still ignores or gets really upset because what I’m asking is harder for him. I need to try to find more tricks to get his attention.

We hopped over some of the jumps after warming up. They were all quite low Xs and it was very easy. Scarlet got very excited and started to charge the jumps. We were heading into a four stride line and he just blew right through me. I hauled him to a halt before the second jump and made him back up and trot over it. The next time around, he listened when I asked for a half-halt and kept his pace much nicer. It was great to see him actually listen.

To cool down, I practiced my two point at the trot. It’s still soooooo hard to do. I kept touching the saddle at 40ish seconds. Then, I managed to get one of 1:53 seconds! I was so tired by that point because I’d been working on it for probably close to 10 minutes that I let myself fall when I got there. I kinda wish I had forced myself to hold on for 7 more seconds to make the two minutes. Next time!

Sunday, I got to go on a trail ride with K and her horse. Scarlet was very aware and tense when we started out. He didn’t ever fully relax while we were riding but he seemed to relax somewhat. We did a huge hill up and down. So good for his booty! And then we were heading to do another trail out. I had Scarlet’s nose stuck in K’s horse’s butt and he had been doing great. Then Scarlet planted and spun around. He was not going forward. I couldn’t get him to turn around and go back. He just kept spinning in a circle and moving sideways. We were close enough that K escorted us back to the barn and then headed off on her own. I wasn’t upset with Scarlet. We had ridden for 45ish minutes on the trail. We had crossed a road and rode most of that on new trails. It was a pretty good ride and I think that if we were able to do this more he would relax faster.

He was really sweaty so I gave him a bath and let him dry while eating his grain. After he was dry, I gave him a modified trace clip since it was going to be so hot and he already has a fluffy coat. He stood really still, which surprised me. I’ve never clipped him beside his feathers but I think the person who had him in between me did it a lot. I’ve also never clipped any horse more than the feathers. I have sheared sheep and I have to say, horses are soooooo much easier.

My results…. well I did fantastic on the left side and the right side I seem to have lost the ability to make a nice line. But Scarlet won’t care about the look and I’m not showing so I don’t really care.

Easy Rides

I rode Scarlet on Sunday and Monday.

He was very much feeling the cooler weather we have been having. The daytime has still had its moments of omg it is too hot but at night it is cooling down nicely. The daytime heat though is kinda sucky, especially because Scarlet’s winter coat is coming in already. I don’t really want to clip him as I am not competing and I’d rather not have to keep a blanket on 24/7. Even clipped, I don’t think winters here in San Diego have cold enough days that I’d want to have him covered. When we were searching for apartments last January, we were told it was a cold winter. I think it was around 65 degrees then. Not cold.

Even though he was frisky due to the brisk wind and having not been ridden for three days, once we got working he wasn’t super misbehaved. It was only a small case of the zoomies happening. I didn’t mind much as it wasn’t zoom run away. It just made him pick up his pace at the walk and the trot during the warm-up. Normally I have to work hard to get him to do that so if the weather wants to help, be my guest.

Monday, I listened to an audiobook while I was riding. Scarlet liked that ride a lot as he did not have to work as hard. I definitely do not focus as hard on him when I’m listening to a good story. I did work on some sitting trot serpentines and my two point. I got it up to 47 seconds. I’m hoping to double that within the next week.

Tuesday, I didn’t go out as I normally would have. Instead, I did something awesome. Now, I try to keep this blog mostly focused on horse stuff because it is a horse riding blog. However, this project has been something I have been working on for a year and I want to share.

I finished my first novel.

I sat down on Tuesday, realized I was just too close to the end to stop writing and powered through almost 2,500 words. I’m so happy that I finally have done it. I’ve written fiction for myself for… too long to remember but I’ve never hit “The End” before. There is still a lot of work to go for editing and who knows if it is actually any good but I’ve done it.

Then I went and bought myself a Costco cheesecake for a reward. Because cheesecake.

What a Week

(Ack! I realized hours later that I didn’t post the pictures!)

I was able to get out more this week than I had in previous weeks. I was able to ride Sunday and Monday. Then I had my lesson on Tuesday. Wednesday’s ride was much less than I had wanted. I was so exhausted from my lesson the day before. I work so much harder when I have someone critiquing me and giving me exercises to do. I really wish I could budget for more lessons just so that I could work harder more often.

Friday I went out to the barn after our day off on Thursday and pulled Scarlet out of his stall to see that he had torn up his leg. He had a small cut that was there previously but it was nicely scabbed up and had looked like it was healing well. It looked like he had torn the whole scab and more off. I’ll put the picture of the wound at the bottom of the post for those who are squeamish and do not want to see it.

It looked nasty but not infected. It was also still fresh so he had to have mostly done it on Friday. I cleaned it out which he was very good for. He didn’t flinch away even though I lightly scrubbed to try to make sure that any gunk that had been ground in was out. It took me quite a while to do and I didn’t really want to ride him after that. He wasn’t lame at all but I felt like he would benefit from having a day or so to let it scab over. I put some wound spray on it, did a bit of groundwork and walking around the barn together and put him away.

Mom, I think those horses are the flesh-eating ones from that book you read!

Saturday was clinic day at the barn and I wanted to get Scarlet’s shots done. We ended up getting shots, teeth and his wound cleaned. He looks so silly all drugged up for the teeth cleaning.

Poor Scarlet

I had the vet take a look at his leg since he was out there anyway. Scarlet had managed to do something that got most of the wound spray off of it so I knew I’d need to do something else to keep the flies from getting into it. The vet said he thinks that Scarlet bit himself to open the wound. My mind was going “WTF?! Bit himself? WHY?”. He explained that it was an odd place for a horse to get injured since it’s not a spot where they would easily catch themselves. He thinks that the flies were irritating him and in an effort to help the irritation, Scarlet bit himself until he opened the wound.

The vet shaved around it and cleaned it really good. That took a while as Scarlet had mashed some gunk in there overnight. Then he explained that I’d need to keep it covered until the wound is 100% healed or he will keep opening it. I have an ointment, telfa pads and part of a roll of elastikon to use. I only need to change it ever 4-5 days as long as its still staying on well and he is comfortable. It’s just there to keep him from exacerbating the problem.


So now he is stuck with a bandage on his leg until the wound heals. Hopefully, it heals fairly swiftly. I can ride him in the meantime because it’s not constricting any movement. This really minor injury made me realize that I’m completely unprepared for anything more than a small nick health wise. My plan now is to gather up an equine emergency kit that will fit into a tackle box that I can keep ready. Obviously, I need some bandage materials. But I don’t know what else. I’ve never had any injuries that needed more than some ointment with Scarlet before. So, I ask the blogsphere, what do you have in your emergency kit? Or if you don’t have one, what are your suggestions of things to add?

Friday picture and blurry after the vet cleaned it picture due to me not being able to see the screen in the sun:

Scarlet Rates Stories – The Blue Sword

This review is based on my opinion entirely and I’ve received zero incentives to review the books I’ve chosen. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for books or any particular books they would like reviewed please feel free to comment!

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley


Harry Crewe is an orphan girl who comes to live in Damar, the desert country shared by the Homelanders and the secretive, magical Hillfolk. Her life is quiet and ordinary-until the night she is kidnapped by Corlath, the Hillfolk King, who takes her deep into the desert. She does not know the Hillfolk language; she does not know why she has been chosen. But Corlath does. Harry is to be trained in the arts of war until she is a match for any of his men. Does she have the courage to accept her true fate?

Scarlet’s horsey opinion:

The horses in this book were much more normal than the last book. They don’t try to eat each other. I liked the horses in this book. They seemed to be very happy. They didn’t have to wear a bit and got to just walk around without being tied down. I don’t like the crossties so this sounds like a lot of fun.

One thing that was odd was how much every horse seemed to love their humans. I like my mom and really like her when she brings me cookies but I don’t think every horse wants to nuzzle their humans all the time. Some do but all the horses love their humans.
The fighting parts of the books were scary. I don’t think I’d like to go into a battle. When (main horse name) fought, the author described it like he was slicing open his opponent. Horse teeth don’t really work like that. I play fight with my neighbor but our teeth aren’t sharp so we don’t slice. Horse bites do hurt and we can do a lot of damage in a fight but the horses in this fight weren’t kicking or rearing to use their front hooves much. I think I’d use my kicks more to do lots more damage.

I did like hearing about the horses, even with the little bit of weird stuff. This author really loves horses. She describes perfectly how majestic and important we are.

Alex’s reader opinion:

I normally leave the horse analysis to the horse but I couldn’t resist saying one thing. The horses in this story are described as too big. Desert horses are small by necessity! There is not enough water or food and smaller bodies mean less size to maintain and body to cool down. I’m willing to let it go because the horses were well written otherwise and there is magic involved but still. Small horses for the desert!

This story was a fun mix of horse, adventure and a hint of magic. I had a lot of fun reading it and enjoyed the story overall. I have a few critiques but none of them took away from the story at all. That is the best type of book. No book is going to be perfect so the next best thing is to have the problems be ones that aren’t real problems.

The story uses a sliding omniscient POV. It mostly focuses on Harry as the main character. I think the omniscient POV is due to the period that it was published. The 80s fiction was more accepting of that. Since the readers of the time were used to that, no confusion was really caused. There were a few points where I was a little confused but it wasn’t often and I was able to understand after a few contextual clues. The POV works well for the is story though as there would be a lot missing in plot and character development if there weren’t other POVs included.

The largest complaint I have is that I wanted more. I wanted more of everything. Not just another book, but I wanted more character development, more plot, more about the legends. It felt like we were only skimming the top and some of the plot developments were just shoved in without a ton of explanation. I’m very used to watching my characters struggle and fight to deal with changes and survive in the world. A large part of Harry’s character is that she doesn’t show inner turmoil but I think that the reader should have seen more of what she was going through.

Other than the above issues, I really enjoyed the story and highly recommend. It is definitely a classic older story in fiction and well done.


Lesson with all the jumps!

Another riding lesson! I wasn’t able to really plan on getting a lesson in September due to being busy so I really wanted to get another one in asap. I was initially going to have one on Wednesday evening but Trainer D texted and asked last minute if I could do it Tuesday. Since I was only planning on riding Scarlet I was happy to switch it around. I prefer not to let Scarlet sit multiple days in a row. It’s better for him to keep moving.

When I got there, all the jumps were down in the two hunter arenas we normally ride in and Trainer D said we were going out to the jumper field. So exciting! I rode Brad, who is a giant. Seriously must have been over 17hh. Every horse I’ve ridden for lessons there seems super duper tall to me. Scarlet is 15hh so yeah, most hunters and jumpers have at least a hand on him but man they are so tall!! I really can’t get over it.

Brad likes to make nasty faces while you groom but he was sweet otherwise. I took him out to the arena and took the initiative to start warming up the way I wanted while Trainer D took a quick phone call. We walked and trotted while throwing some circles around jumps in there. I needed a bit more impulsion from him as he warmed up super lazy. Luckily, I borrowed Trainer D’s spurs as mine were still in the tackroom at my barn due to the change in schedule. She said I was using them well enough so maybe its just Scarlet that makes me think I’m not doing it right.

Once we were warmed up at all gaits, she had me canter over a pole to get the feel of his canter. He leaned pretty hard on me both ways so it was quite difficult to get the turn the way I felt like I should be able to get the turn. Trainer D did point out that my hands were too low for him and I needed to raise them up. This was a theme throughout the lesson. After cantering both ways over the pole, she added another pole on a bending line and asked me to canter over one way and count the strides. Then, I was to canter on the other lead and get the same amount of strides that way.

The first time, we got 7.5 strides. So we did it again, asking for a bit more and got 6 and 3/4. At least it was change in the positive direction. We did it again and got the 7 we wanted. I then cantered the other way and got… something. It definitely wasn’t 7. Brad is a jumper horse and can get fast apparently. What I didn’t realize was his stride was getting longer and longer so we completely blew that one. We did it again and I managed to correct to squeeze the last two strides of the 7 and then tell him to get his butt over the second pole.

Trainer D then set up a cross rail for us to go over. That went very well both ways. We did biff it slightly once because I got him too close. I’ve never had a horse listen so well to me and going to a distance I didn’t realize we had. He completely covered for us and got all limbs and body parts over without issue but it really made me realize that I’ve got to actually ride with this horse as he is going to listen to things I’m not realizing I’m saying. I also experienced him getting excited about a jump and figured out the half halt for him. It has to be a lot more demanding or he is going to just ignore me. But, his response to the half halt is fantastic.

After the cross rail, we did a little gate jump. That had a more sharp turn on the right lead and I felt like I had to compact him much more in order to get the turn. We got there but I didn’t feel like it was super straight onto the jump. After jumping that both ways, Trainer D set up a little mini course for us. We were going right lead over 1 (small gate) to a right hand turn to 2 (another gate), left lead turn back to the first small gate (3) then a roll back left hand turn to the X we had been jumping at the beginning (4).

amazing course drawing in paint

I have videos of the second and 3rd time over the course. The first time, she wanted to just watch to make sure that she could critique correctly and not get distracted. So off we went. We made the first right turn to the gate and then turned to the second gate. The turn felt like it bottomed out a bit. We had to do a flying change to the left lead since he landed on his right. I honestly have only theoretical knowledge of the cues for flying so I’m so glad he just basically did it for me. Getting back around to the first gate, we gained some length in our strides and I was really fighting for him to slow down. Then the jump came up and I stopped asking because I was worried about yanking on his mouth. Then the rollback turn to the left. I couldn’t get a perfect turn where I lined up straight but I made a straight angled like to the middle of the cross and we did it.

Trainer D had me walk around her at the walk while she explained a few things. I had slowed his canter down to the point that we had nothing really to get us over the fence. That’s why the first and second gate wasn’t as good. We didn’t need a huge canter stride, but I needed to ensure that he had more energy in the canter. She also said that I quit riding before the 3rd jump. I said I didn’t want to yank on his mouth and she said that shouldn’t be a problem.

When she gave me these videos after the lesson, she said: “These aren’t for analyzing, these are just so you can see how you are doing.” (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Oh Trainer D, so funny. )

So, around the second time :

And the third time:


This was so much fun. I loved loved loved riding a horse that felt more like a jumper than a hunter. It really melded with how I like to ride. I felt like I was riding and was making decisions during this lesson. I’d respond to her suggestions and make a change. It wasn’t always the correct change but I was riding. It was so much fun.

I haven’t ridden the same horse twice in my lessons yet but man I really hope I get to ride Brad again. I did let her know that I really liked him and that I loved riding him. Maybe she will remember that next time I schedule a lesson.

For homework, I need to be more conscious about where my hands are so I’m not pulling down on my mount’s mouth. I also need to figure out how to keep my lower legs from swinging as much.

Canter Questions

Well, life still hasn’t fully settled down for me. I was only able to get out and ride on Friday. It was a really good ride thought so I was happy I went out.

The two crossties near my tack room were occupied when I went out there but Scarlet was fine with just chilling in front of the room while I groomed him. He stood rather still, almost like he had been trained to ground tie. It was nice. I keep expecting him to do what he did to me when I was younger though. I used to just take everything off of him after a ride at home and groom him like that. I groomed him at the trailer which was parked right next to one of the gates to his pasture. Once done, I led him back with his mane and he was good. Well, I would do that for a while and he would behave himself like a perfect angel. Then he’d decide to give me the middle finger and would suddenly gallop away from me. We lived on five acres and it was all fenced in so I wasn’t worried about him getting hurt but man was I annoyed. He would also rub salt in the wound by prancing in a circle around me when I tried to catch him. I could literally hear him laughing saying, “Nyah, nyah. You can’t get me!”. He is much better behaved now but while my younger self would just repeat the above scenario after making him wear his halter during grooming for a while and never fully learned, older me twitches when he does and goes to grab the lead rope. Guess I’m a slow learner.

When we were warming up, someone had put their horse in the round pen next to the arena to get the bucks out before they got on. Scarlet got really distracted and laser-focused on the horse running around. It made for a more difficult trot warm up as he would tense so hard on that one side and I would just get him back into a good frame by the time we circled back to that same side.  I ended up using circles down that side to try to get him to focus. I don’t love doing that as I feel handicapped if circles are the only thing that gets him to focus but sometimes you gotta use what you have.

We are still struggling with canter transitions but I feel the lack of improvement is due to me being absent a lot recently. When we went to canter, I asked for it on the circle and even though he was very connected and good at the trot, he literally inverted and freaked out. I tried again but it was only marginally better. Same for the other lead. I then decided to do some simple transition serpentines in the arena. I generally don’t do those at the canter because Scarlet anticipates. It only took twice for him to get the general idea and canter as soon as we trotted on the correct lead.

Since he needs to wait, I mixed it up by going back to the same lead or just trotting on for a while. As we did this I noticed that our transitions go much much better. So this prompted a question in my mind regarding the transitions. Is it a warming up thing as well as just not being strong? Should I just let the crappy first transitions happen and then do more when we are fully warmed up? Is that a good idea? The idea of every action being a training action says to not do that. And I’m concerned about that. If I let the transitions go, will he start to continue to put in lackluster transitions? What are your guys’ opinions on those first few transitions? Let them go while we warm up or insist that he work correctly from the first transition?