Since our lesson on Sunday Carmen has been a bit full of herself. Today I rode her early in the morning. It was a beautiful, frosty, still morning. One of my favourite type of day- I love the Fall.
Initially Carmen was quite distractible but I was clear that she was to tune in and listen to me, not anything else. Once I was sure of that on the ground I got on. We were able to go right to work and it was lovely walk work. Once, as we went by the tree at B we both heard a rustle.
'Don't worry about it'I said. 'it's probably a mouse or a squirrel or mole'
'well... okay' Carmen was dubious but decided to give me the benefit of the doubt.
I asked her to trot. She did her usual initial fussing about it. I find that if I'm patient she'll work through that and settle into the work. Roz advised that I stay sitting until the rhythm was established and then post. This was helpful because I was getting unbalanced with her loss of rhythm and it was not helping the situation. By sitting I can provide a stable centre so that as she flails there's a place of stillness for her to find.
We trotted/flailed/bounced around the circle and came by B.
ARGGGGGHHH!!!!! Carmen bounded sideways.
EEEEEEEEEEEEKKK! Screamed a squirrel and ran up the tree.
what the-- I said.
She scared me! Thank heavens I saved us Carmen shook her head.
Scared you??? I've lost years off of my life. Years! You should be more careful you big louts. The squirrel scolded us roundly.
uh oh. Now she's mad- We better give her a wide berth. She might be dangerous.
Oh yes. We'll be so ready to show next year. I thought.
you do that again and I will throw my nuts at you! As the squirrel continued to swear at us and Carmen went into high alert, I started to giggle.
it's not funny. I saved our lives and you have no appreciation of it. Carmen began to sulk.
I giggled more.
It's a SQUIRREL. It weighs about 4 ounces. You are the descendent of WAR HORSES. I'm willing to risk it.
The upside was that we now had a lovely forward trot. So I ignored both the squirrel and Carmen's worry and we carried on working.
And you know what?
She went to work too. Without any further fuss.
Psycho Squirrels be damned.