Friday night and Saturday I was helping at a dressage show so wasn't able to ride until Sunday morning. I won't say much about it other than to say that she was wonderful. There was very little arguments and any discussions we had were very short lived. We were able to school in more of the ring then before. I was very very happy.
Monday I had a lesson booked with Roz. I gave her the synopsis of our work since our last lesson. She watched our groundwork and, according to Cynthia, commented on the difference that she saw in us. She noted that Carmen was far more tuned into me.
As I walked her towards the mounting block I said to her 'Now I've told Roz that we have had 3 awesome rides. Can we make it 4?"
She didn't say anything but walked beside me nice and mellow. Our lesson was the best one yet. Not that she was perfect and I was far from perfect. But over all we were on the same page. Roz taught me to have her leg yield a few strides on the circle to get her straight and onto the outside rein. The first benefit of this was it got her soft and listening and not braced on the inside rein. When Carmen is resisting she stiffens her inside rib cage against my leg, locks her jaw and turns to the outside. By asking her to leg yield out and bend to the inside she needed to unlock herself. Further into the ride using this really got her working from behind and she gave me a beautiful, forward trot.
She had some moments of distraction. Most pronounced when Irish came up to the ring. Roz had us do lots of changes of directions to keep her listening to me. As I have found before, doing this doesn't frazzle her more but gets her more focussed. I think that she likes the challenge. Roz said 'this mare just needs a job description' I have to agree.
She balked once or twice but went forward as soon as I asked.
We did some canter work. To be honest, we weren't stellar in this, which was disappointing because when I school her in canter it usually is very good. But I believe that the saddle is becoming a bit tight on her shoulders. Her shape has changed quite a bit in the past couple months with weight and muscle. She's not sore but I think Princess finds it a bit tight. Once we work through it, she is fine and the resistance goes away.I have the next size gullet on order for her saddle and should have it soon.
1. build suppleness through bends, leg yields and transitions
2. sit up, give as soon as she responds
3. allow her to carry herself, I don't have to hold her
4. post like I mean it- I've been riding her lightly like she's a 3 year old. But this stops me from using my seat effectively.
There's probably more I should remember, but right now that's it.
After I hosed her off and we hung outside of the ring watching Irish and Cynthia's lesson. Well I watched. Carmen had her nose buried into the grass. While it may contain trolls, apparently it's delicious.
Later tonight when I went to do my night time chores she kept getting in my way- she wanted to snuggle and have a scratch. It's the first time she's insisted on getting attention from me. The other day some friends stopped in and also commented on how much more friendly she has become.
So, while I know that we will have our challenges, I believe that we are headed in the right direction.
|photo from a previous lesson- there were no cameras today!|