I have too many thoughts sometimes.
|gratuitous vacation pic to illustrate my staring into the abyss|
The stars aligned and she was able to get her on Weds to help me out. I felt that I needed help in the ring because she was spooking at the grass and stuff fluttering around. We made the arrangements and I decided that I would give Carmen and I a few days off (as recommneded by you guys, thanks!).
So you know how your car can make this strange noise but when you take it to the mechanic it stops? Um, yeah, well that's what happened. In the ring Carmen was very relaxed and attentive. Not stressed at all. Karen arrived and I explained what had been happening. I said that I was thinking of scratching from the show, not because I was worried about our performance but because I didn't want to have a wreck and ruin the confidence and trust that we had been building. Karen told me to park that for a moment and thengave me some things to think about:
1. You cannot will yourself to be calm. It's a state and requires practice. She asked me how I was feeling when Carmen was spooking at stuff. I told her frustrated, worried and annoyed.
2. training is not a straight line. It's forward, back, sideways, forward
3. I need to think of three words that describe how I want to be when she spooks. I chose: Confident (that I ride through it), Calm (not worried about what will happen next), Control (in control of my body).
I then mounted and we went to work. We practiced my following with my seat and controlling her pace. Since I had been working on that it wasn't too bad. But we moved it up a notch and I need to ride so that Carmen's attention is on me at all times and if it's not I'm can't wait for it to come back. I need to keep her flexed to the inside and I need to ask her to lower her head. I wasn't being persistent enough- when she objected I was backing off. I can't be harsh but I can't back down either. I need to be in charge. That meant that sometimes I was a bit strong on the inside rein asking her to flex- but that was fine as long as I released when she did it.
Carmen spooked twice during the ride- once Karen did deliberately so that she could see what happened. It startled both of us but we got it back. The second was in our favourite -troll corner.
Carmen and I practiced shortening and lengthening her stride (not by much just to get control), we did frequent changes of direction and practiced our shoulder in. It took a long time but I finally felt her trying to figure out what I wanted. We practiced some canter. It was a bit awful but that's okay- we did it and I practiced the flexion. She struggled with that but that's a balance issue that will get better.
I was able to keep Carmen going - it wasn't always pretty but it was successful. I was able to ride her past leaves and grass blowing without her even thinking of running away.
We ended and Carmen was tired. Karen asked me how I felt about going to the show now. I said that I was feeling better about it. She expressed the idea that for personalities like Carmen and I it's better for us to get out and doing stuff sooner rather than later. Even if all I did was ride down the centre line, salute and scratch. She had an excellent point.
So it looks like we're going. If you see us there and I look like a wreck feel free to remind me of my mantra:
calm, confident, controlled.
If that fails give me wine.
|Princess has moves, that's for sure.|