I mounted by the barn and rode up and didn't have to deal with tenseness or silliness. In the ring I started with the warm up by the in gate and we ran into the same issue with going to C. So I repeated everything that I had done yesterday. It was hard work- the area between R and C was the 'rest zone' and the remainder of the ring was the 'work zone'. I had to make it 100% clear. I would ask her to stand in that zone and as soon as she turned away I would take up the rein to complete the turn and dig my heels in her side and go down to the other end where we got to work. If she spun and bolted I went with her and encouraged her to go. We even galloped at some points.
And in the end we were able to walk calmly and quietly in that area. I was very happy and I was going to finish with a halt and a rein back. But when I halted there was a sudden noise as my neighbour used a hose on the side of his house (I think it was his house). Carmen flinched but didn't move even though we were in the 'really scary area'. I hopped off right away and gave her lots of praise. By then we were both soaked.
As I was cooling her off Royce called and asked how it was going. I explained what I had done and he said that I had been doing completely the wrong thing. Which got me upset. I understand what he's thinking so let me see if I can explain it.
First here's the idea in a video:
With everything that Royce has done and taught me I can ride Carmen up at C but I can't get her to relax there. I need her to not 'tolerate' being there but be willing to go there. So I'm trying to get her to think that this is the place to be. What I believe Royce's objection is that I am teaching her it's okay to run away. I tried to explain that I need her to change her attitude. Essentially he said that her issues up there are because of the way I ride her. I pointed out that I can ride her everywhere else in the ring without those issues but that end is her freaky spot. So I'm not necessarily buying that it's me. I believe that Carmen has it in her head that she doesn't go there and no amount of relaxing her elsewhere is going to transfer there for her. We discussed what I should do and I agreed that I would ride her again tonight and let him know how it went. But I wasn't convinced that I was going to do what he wanted me to do which is to avoid that area until she was relaxed and then ask her to there. If she got tense I was to leave and relax her again. I was afraid that that would teach her that the other areas were the places to be.
I hung up frustrated. I'm sure he was too. I probably didn't explain it well.
We had a great afternoon with the family and when the left Caelen and I got the horses ready to ride. I did some ground work up at C and then mounted. I did some warm up at the walk at the in gate and then I asked her to walk up to C.
And she did. I halted her between R and C in the centre line and she breathed out and cocked a leg. I slowly walked away and we did some work in various area. I think I did maybe 2 mins of trot work, the rest was walking and bending and leg yielding. And her ears were little satellite dishes. there was one spook when a crow flew up out of the grass down at the other end of the ring - it startled me too but she went right back to work. After the 6 or 7th time of going up to C her walking calmly by the grass while checking in with me with her ears constantly instead of locked on the dangerous grass I hopped off. I think I rode about 20 minutes.
I do love data- I'm always going on about it at work. I don't have much data but here's what I have:
Day Time to get her relaxed at C
Saturday 90 minutes
Sunday Morning 45 minutes
Sunday Evening 0 minutes
I will see what happens tomorrow but I am encouraged.
|you can see how tall the grass is. Her ears are up but her hind leg is cocked.|
If I touch a rein her ear will swivel back 'what do you want?'
She and I hung out by the mounting block while Caelen and Irish played in the ring. She nibbled on grass and relaxed. At one point she brought her head down to my leg and gently nuzzled me. I rubbed her forehead and she sighed and relaxed.
|relaxing and enjoying the evening|
|can I have cookies now?|