As you know I had a successful lesson on Wednesday with Carmen being calmer than she had been lately. With the boost in my confidence I've ridden three times since my lesson.
Friday was with Cynthia and Irish. Carmen was very good. She was a bit tight to start but worked out and we had a nice schooling session. After we pulled the tack off and left them to eat the grass growing around the edge of the ring. When we came back to get them she met me at the gate but not in an anxious way, more like a 'oh hi. there you are' way
Saturday was hot and sunny. I brought Irish into the barn. Usually Carmen is stuck to him like a foal to a mare. This time I put Irish in his stall and turned around to see Carmen slowly sauntering towards us from across the field. In the aisle I had her standing there while I groomed her. She exuded mellowness. Ed came in, gave her a pat and then went out. All of a sudden there was a loud noise as he started the snowblower (maintenance)- it backfired and sputtered and roared. Carmen was madly interested but never moved a hoof. Ed came back and said 'Im sorry, did I startle her?"
Me:'nope. she never moved'
Ed looked at her. 'She's really changed, she's not even moving!'
In the ring she kept her mellow nature. Our groundwork session was very short. There was no need to work our way into parts of the ring she was willing from the beginning. She spooked once but it was a normal horse spook, not an 'OHMYGODWE'REGONNADIE" spook. If I had to describe her over all it would be 'LAZY'. Which was a new thing for us -especially since it was quite blustery. I had to pick up the crop and tap her to get her moving. Once we got that she was fine. She was struggling with her left lead canter but that is not new. Our right lead is much better so I started with that to help her get her balance. After a good right lead canter I let her walk out and then said "okay, we're going to tackle that left lead canter. All I want is for you to try to stay bent and balanced and not freak out about it" I got a nice trot and then asked for the canter. She picked it up as nice as you please. We did one nice circle and I brought her back to trot-walk-halt and hopped off.
Total time in the ring was 45 minutes.
Today (Sunday) was cloudy and cool (it's raining now). I brought Irish in to the barn but when I turned around I couldn't even see Carmen. I checked her stall to see if she snuck by me. Nope. I walked out and she was cropping grass on the other side of the field. She looked at me innocently.
Are you coming?
*sigh* I guess so. She moseyed to the barn and entered her stall. Again she was mellow in the barn but less mellow in the ring (of course by now I have a new definition. Two weeks ago I would have checked for a pulse). I've been working on ensuring that she's tuned into me at all times. We did our ground work and she was listening. I mounted and she was teetering on the edge of being tense. I calmed myself and we went to work. She was definitely more looky and potentially spooky but I remembered my lesson and made sure that I was riding every stride and ensuring that she remained flexed to the inside. There were places where that was a bigger discussion. I matched her level of resistance- if I asked her to bend inside and she took the bit and turned to the outside to look at whatever I was insistent. We didn't look so pretty but after doing that twice when I asked softly she came right to me. Because of that we only had a few easy spooks. One big one when Chester popped out of the grass but we rebounded and carried on.
As we were schooling she began to get a bit pissy. I realized that she was tired and figured it was time to stop. Of course we didn't. I have ridden school horses for years. Horses that are not so keen to keep working hard is well within my wheel house. I was asking her to leg yield from the rail to the quarter line and then back. According to her highness I was allowed to ask for leg yields just one way. This idea of leg-yielding-straightening-leg yielding the other way was ridiculous and not to be borne. I growled at her a bit and she gave up and actually listened rather then having a dramatic hissy fit. And then I stopped.
Total time in the ring was at least an hour, possibly longer as I hadn't checked.
After I hosed her off and she was enjoying the cool stream of water. She likes to put her muzzle in the stream. this time she filled her bottom lip with water and then flipped it so it went down into my bra.
hey! I yelled
Carmen looked at me innocently but with a gleam in her eye 'oh sorry, you looked sweaty I was trying to help you cool off'
I don't know what percentage of this new horse is my work and the supplement but I'll take it. I will do a test to see if her behaviour changes when I take her off but I'll probably wait until after the show.
|once we get our stuff together our canter pirouettes will be lovely|