After I took them out to their small paddock. As I picked out the stalls I saw Irish running around like a fool with Carmen behind him. I did not want them to be carrying on like this. It was obvious that Carmen did not want to be running. I called her name and she stopped and looked at me. I gave a big sigh and relaxed my shoulders. She paused, and then Irish came cantering by. She trotted off but stopped and looked at me again. I sighed again. With that she blew out and then began to graze ignoring Irish. This resulted in him settling down as well.
After our coffee and breakfast, Cynthia and I got them ready for a ride. Our goal was to practice what we had learned the day before. I normally ride with a safety vest but I felt that I didn't need it this morning. I began by some work in hand and then lunging. She was calm and focussed. I asked her to canter and she looked at me
"I'm too tired to canter"
"come on, you can do it"
"fine but I'm REALLY tired"
She broke a couple times and after making my point about keeping it up I brought her back to a halt. I put on her bridle and brought her to the mounting block. AS I stepped up she swung her butt away from the block. Karen had told me of a trick of having a crop on the opposite side to smack if they swing. So that's what I did. It surprised her and she kicked at it. I brought her back and this time she didn't move. Good girl.
I got on and we began our work. I was practicing my breathing, relaxing and being clear. She was quite focussed on me. Not that she didn't worry about some parts of the ring but it wasn't any huge deal and she kept going when I asked her to. Karen took some video so I'll have some to show you after. Her trot was lovely and she was much less restless with the contact. I asked her to canter and it took a few tries to get it. When we did get it, it was lovely. Karen suggested that I try to feel when the outside hind leg was down and then ask. I wasn't sure if I could feel that but it turns out I could and when I asked she picked it up as sweet as you please. I need to be more careful of my timing.
Her canter is so smooth I could ride it forever. But she was tired so I didn't.
I finished up with a few leg yields. when she moved away from my leg without speeding up or worrying I stopped and dismounted. She stood beside me relaxing while Cynthia finished her ride. Irish, despite his silliness, was a perfect gentleman under saddle. Carmen nuzzled me a bit and then she then began to play with a blanket that was on a chair. I love seeing her personality come out.
When it was time to load up she walked right on without hesitation. I think I could have sent her on without me. Fortunately the drive home was uneventful. When we got home Carmen backed off as unconcerned as anything. I haven't been working on trailer loading but I've been doing tons of groundwork. I believe that that is carrying over to the trailer loading.
We turned the horses out for a couple hours of grazing. It was all I could do to stay awake long enough to do the final hay and water top up. When I went out to the barn Irish and Carmen looked very sleepy as well.
I had a lot of hopes for this weekend but it exceeded all of my expectations. I've learned that she travels wells and I see the mature, calm horse that she will be.