Rather than get frustrated I decided that this was an opportunity to get her attention. If she's looking all around for danger than she is not listening to me and when I ask her to do something it annoys her. So I did tons of changing direction, transitions up and down and circles. Lots and lots of circles; big ones, small ones, oval ones (those were not on purpose). Slowly I was getting her focussing on me and responding to my aids. I asked her to canter and she transitioned up and then gave a big buck. I was not impressed. So I brought her back, got the trot soft and forward and then sat up and said 'canter'. She picked it up and carried on. I find that canter work relaxes her so I no longer avoid it when she's up. After some lovely canter work to the left I brought her back to a walk and let her stretch out.
I then changed direction with the plan of cantering to the right. She was tense and worried and I figured that I would just work through it when all of a sudden she slammed to a halt and was quivering from head to toe. I looked up and saw d'Arcy. Ed had let him out (turns out he thought I was done so let him out). I could feel her getting ready to lose it so I hopped off and sent Ed a quick text. Of course he calls d'Arcy and of course d'Arcy is not leaving- he's a border collie and is on the job. I realized that my ride was over and I was NOT happy.
We walked down to the barn and I put her away. I hung out in the barn until I was a bit calmer and then went in the house and spoke to Ed. He was sorry and after a shower and a strawberry daiquiri I felt much better.
But I was worried that I had undone my weeks of work. This morning I got her ready and headed up to the ring. It was hot even at 9 and I quickly realized that she was feeling lazy again. I got on her prepared to work through what we had yesterday. But today was different- she was a bit looky but more resistant to work. I asked her to trot and she really didn't want to and let me know by picking up a plodding trot. When I asked her to move out she pinned her ears. I just engaged my core, sat back (I have a tendency to sit forward during these moments) and encouraged her forward. I find that Carmen does not like to be squeezed but responds to a series of short taps with my heels (not kicks). So I persisted and we had a lovely forward trot.
We worked on leg yields, trotting poles and serpentines. I ignored any tension in certain 'corners' and let her have a long(ish) rein.
Because there was nothing to argue against she didn't. Funny that.
We cantered both ways as well. I walked her up to troll corner and halted and dismounted. I think that that will be our new dismount place.
I was happy that we didn't seem the worse for wear after yesterday. I was happy that I seem to be gaining confidence in our sessions. She seems to be happy with me as well. Most of the time.
|more fun to photograph than to ride.|