There are many elements to a campaign. Leadership is number one. Everything else is number two. ~ Bertolt Brecht
A couple posts ago I wrote about my campaign to own the ring. I had no expectations that it always be smooth. Which is a good thing because Sunday was not as successful as Saturday. It was a sunny day but there was a cold wind blowing and we all know how Carmen feels about wind.
Our lunge work took longer that had been typical - it took a lot more work to keep her attention and I wasn't going to get on until I was sure. She was quite agitated in our old 'Troll Corner' so I did a lot of work there. Before I mounted I did some in hand work in that corner. It was simple work- turn on forehand but I wanted her to tune into me and not be gawking around. I was not going to settle for being second fiddle.
She was definitely tenser under saddle and I had to work hard to keep her attention. I also had to make sure that I stayed soft and did not grip with my hands or thighs. Overall she did really well. We were well into our work and I had been working into her spooky/looky areas. We were doing a circle up by troll corner when there was a gust of wind and she leapt sideways.
Shit I thought with the first leap (her footprints were about 10 feet in from the rail where we had been). But with her second leap I had naturally opened my posture and draped my legs down. I got this I thought and brought her back to me as we landed and then carried on with the circle. I was not freaked out or worried - that made me happy.
She slammed to a halt at C and I suddenly saw what was causing all the trouble. At supper I was explaining it to Ed:
Me: so when she stopped I saw that there as a piece of a plastic garbage bag stuck in the tree and it was flapping in the wind.
Ed: So did you get rid of it?
Me: Nope. I decided to leave it.
Ed: Really? Why?
Me: Because I can't take care of every possible thing that will startle her. At some point she's going to have to figure out that I won't put her in danger and she has to trust me.
Ed: That makes sense. Maybe leave it until she doesn't react and then get rid of it. (Ed is worried about the littering aspect of it which makes sense).
So left it and we worked through it. She was not happy and tense but she stayed on the circle and did not stop anymore.
I'm counting that as a win.