Today it caught up with me. I was dragging from the minute I got out of bed. I know my body well enough to know that when I feel like this and I don't rest I will get sick. So today I decided to slow down. My kids came for lunch and I made a nice light lunch of potato and leek soup, cheese biscuits and blueberry pie. I would normally have rushed to ride before they came and then cooked. But this time I decided to wait.
In the end I didn't ride. Carmen seemed confused by this. Overtime I went outside I would catch her watching me quietly. When I was getting the stalls ready for the evening she came to the door and watched me for a bit. Then she quietly walked in and stood by me. She kept softly blowing on me and hanging out. When I blew back in her nostril and gave her a scratch she seemed satisfied.
Carmen and I have had a busy and intense few months. It seems like a good time to take some perspective. When I rode her on Saturday she was a lot more alert- it took a lot to keep her attention and she was quite 'flinchy' and tense. But we worked through it.
What I realized that I was classifying that as a 'bad ride'. But a few months ago that would have been a good ride. No bolting, we were in every part of the ring and finished on a good note.
I can now get reliable transitions and most of them are good. The straightness thing was driving me a bit nutty but up until last month I couldn't even begin to work on it. Now we can and it's improving.
I am taking her out of the ring and into the big outdoors and no one is dying. I've not yet done it on my own but I'm making plans for others to take us out and into the trails.
I am no longer afraid that I'm going to be hurt riding. Even though I came off not that long ago, the fact that she stopped beside me and waited was huge. Because I'm not afraid I'm able to not enter into the drama. And frankly, the drama feels more like habit and not true fear. As Cynthia said 'it's not that she won't run away but now she's trying to save you too'.
It's feeling more like a partnership. One in it's early stages but something to build on. She has a ton of talent for lightness and elevation. Now I need to help release it. We're heading to a clinic next weekend and I'm really looking forward to it.
Speaking of Perspective:
this is Carmen in May 2015 (approx 2 months after she arrived here)
This is Carmen from July 2016:
Also, her papers arrived in June -finally and after many frustrating interactions with USPRE. But thanks to her breeder I finally got her ownership card: