Let me explain.
Carmen's sessions with Royce are going amazingly well.
Sessions with Carmen and I with Royce moderating are going well but I am not the master of his timing.
Working with Carmen on my own is a work in progress. We're miles from where we were but I'm dealing with replacing the way we used to work with a new way.
This is actually not frustrating for me- there is a plan and method and I just need to stick to it. Up until very recently listening to me was a choice that Carmen could make. Or not. She could also choose to tune into any of the many distractions aware around us.
Today was a good case in point. The weather was cooler and windy (who's surprised by that?). Cynthia was riding as well. What I noticed was that if I asked Carmen to do something and it fit with what she wanted her response was prompt and accurate. However, if I asked her, say to turn left when she wanted to go right there was a definite lag. Sort of like this:
Me: turn left
Carmen: your call is important to us. Please hold.
Me: left, turn left.
Carmen: All our operators are busy at the moment. Please stand by.
Carmen: *elevator music* Please sit back and enjoy the scenery as we go to the right.
Me: No. No. We are going left.
Carmen: This call has been disconnected.
Obviously it's not like that all the time. But I'm working on getting rid of the lag.
I'm definitely starting to recognize the 'spook to get out of work' maneuver. It's interesting because I'll ask her to do something that is difficult (say trot to left lead canter without throwing her haunches in and her head to the right). Immediately she's get tense about the trees. I keep us going and then she'll give a spook. I stop and back her up and she stands there. Before she would be definitely worried. Today we were working on our left canter departs and she spooked. She stopped immediately and backed up and then cocked a leg to rest.
A few of these and it dawned on me- she's figured out that spooking leads to resting. Sigh. So now I had to make sure that if I backed her up I made her go forward right away and back to work. I said to Cynthia I can't wait for her to use her intelligence for me instead of against me.
Carmen was not pleased with this No, you're doing it wrong. The little man said that you have to back me up into what scared me and make me stand there. Here, let me show you.
Me: That 'little man' is not here right now and I'm changing the rules a bit.
Carmen: That's not fair. I'm going to tell.
It took about 45 minutes of work and then she softened and tuned in. Now I had a horse I could work with. You know, on actual dressage stuff. We practiced 10 meter circles in the middle and then either a haunches in or shoulder in down the quarter line. She really tried to figure out what I was asking and how she could do it. I kept it at a walk - I just wanted her to figure it out. And she did.
I can't believe how far we've come now- I have a horse that has a desire to figure out what I'm asking (admittedly at times just so that she can reject it) and that I'm not worried is going to seriously hurt me. We've had no bolting for while- the odd scoot and flinch in place is what she does now. That I can work with.
|la la la. I can't hear you....|