dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Clinic Report Day 2: All About the Give

By the next morning Carmen was in full heat. I am not surprised- with three stallions in the barn it was inevitable. However, I was so impressed with how quickly she settled in to the barn and seemed to be enjoying herself immensely.

I watched some lessons and then took her out to crop some grass before tacking her up. I was careful with our ground work and then mounted. I was trying to put into practice the 4 things I worked on the day before. I was happy because I was finally beginning to feel effective with my seat and I felt that I could finally feel her hind leg movement with my seat. I was frustrated because I could only keep 3 things in my head at one time so I needed reminders with one of them. But I found that Johanna was very patient and had no expectations that I would be anywhere near perfect after one lesson.

I find that I could control her gait and bring her back from rushing- I was struggling with preventing her from rushing. I understood that this is all part of the learning process and I was trying my best to ride with her. Carmen started getting fussy in her mouth and Johanna asked me about it. I explained that she did this when she was tense.

Johanna called me to her and showed me that Carmen was telling me that my shoulders were too tense. I couldn't feel it at all and she spent some time helping me to feel that I wasn't truly moving with Carmen's motion.

I love this photo- it shows the team work that was happening
 Once I was able to get it sorted with some help I went off at the walk and tried to keep my shoulders soft so that we were in sync. And with that Carmen stopped fussing in her mouth.
Great I thought, now there's more to remember. 

 But I kept at it and slowly it seemed to make more sense. The truth is that I jokingly referred to Johanna as our marriage counsellor- she always seems to help us communicate. This time I was able to get her to trot with just the thinking (like I had tried the day before). Because she was in heat she was a bit sticky about going forward. But because I was able to be more effective with my seat I could ride it out and not have it escalate. I might have been frustrated with myself but I recognized that I was doing the best sitting trot on her that I have ever done. It was really cool to be able to feel like I was riding the hind end.

 I was starting to realize how truly sensitive this mare is.




19 comments:

  1. Carmen sure has grown into a real beauty. You two make such a lovely pair.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The two places I learned that I carry tension are my shoulders and my forearms. Loose shoulders and heavy elbows are my mantra -- tension in those places goes straight to Lucy. But, don't you just love being able to ride Carme from thought and feel? So awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yes the feel part was great. The tension we carry maybe comes from the work - I'm on a computer almost all day

      Delete
  3. I love horses very much but unfortunately living in a big city like Montreal I don't get to see them very often. Thank you so much for sharing your posts and photos.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow! She looks amazing in that photo.

    Tense shoulders makes Harley tense up too. I remember not being aware of it myself without help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it just starts to feel normal and we are not aware

      Delete
  5. You two look lovely! Why is it so darn hard to remember all the things we need to do at the same time? And of course we need a 'marriage counselor' to tell us what we are unconsciously doing! Good on you for riding a sensitive horse - she will make you a better rider for sure!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's like juggling. I know it will get easier as things become habit.

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a good clinician! Isn't it funny (aka annoying) that it is almost always us causing a horse's reaction. :) Carmen is absolutely gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. And yes, it's very annoying

      Delete
  7. I like the marriage counselor concept. So true. When couples fall apart on reality TV, it is obvious to everyone watching why the marriage doesn't work. For instance, he's too self-centered and she won't quit nagging... Works with a trainer watching a horse and rider too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it really does feel more like counselling :)

      Delete
  8. I struggle with my shoulders too. Sounds like a really great ride and an excellent clinician!

    ReplyDelete
  9. She sounds like a great teacher. There is always so much to remember, I'm lucky if I can come away from a clinic with a couple things to work on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. that's one good thing about the blog. I can write it down to remember

      Delete
  10. Carmen is gorgeous. A rare beauty. I know the feeling of thinking about so many things at once. Love the idea of it being like marriage counseling. How true that is.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.