Carmen is a bit looky in some spots which makes total sense- my ring is on the top of the hill with fields, trees and bushes. As spring wears on the bushes will be covered in rustling leaves and the grass will grow tall. My thoughts are that if we keep working away at it as things are growing we should be able to avoid the idea of trolls. I hope that I am right but it's my only theory. I could cut the tall grass around the ring but I don't want to. First of all the birds use it to nest and feed. Second I can't keep Carmen in a bubble- she needs to learn how to deal with spooky things (not by spinning and bolting).
Not an option:
|also, how on earth did they do this?|
I only get on when I'm 100% convinced that I have her full attention. Sometimes this is 5 minutes and sometimes it's 20. My goal is to not have to dismount and lunge some more. When I get on I take up contact right away. Carmen does not like to be left 'dangling'. I can let her down on a long rein once she's working with me but if I start that way she becomes agitated. Not that she won't fuss a bit about the contact if she's wanting to look around. We usually start with circles and figure 8s in the middle and I work towards the far ends. This is working as we're getting into the ends pretty quickly.
Yesterday, Chester the Kitten (well teenage cat) was hanging out with in the ring with us. Ashley was riding Irish and I was working with Carmen. When I was riding he would appear here and there and then he disappeared. I was coming around the short side to cross the diagonal (this was late in our ride) when Carmen spooked and spun sideways. Ouch- it wrenched my back a bit. I brought her around the circle and we came back and she did it again. This time I was ready so no wrenching. We came back again and Chester popped out of the grass and hopped down the ring. As Cynthia pointed out it was a legitimate spook. But I was happy that there was no huge panic about it- she listened to me and once she saw what it was she relaxed immediately.
What I was thrilled about yesterday is that we actually catered everywhere in the ring. It was not pretty and my position was terrible as I was trying to convince her to keep cantering straight ahead. I decided that looking pretty was not my goal- just getting it done. We finished with us cantering down the long side past the gate. As we were going I kept saying 'we are cantering past the gate. Oh yes we are. Come on you can do it'. And we did. I brought her back to trot and walk and we cooled out. We were both a little sweaty.
Owning the Ring campaign is moving ahead. The next one will be 'Owning the Outside of the Ring'.
Is it ridiculous that I am still thrilled when I ride? I feel like a kid sometimes: "I rode a horse today. Yay"