1. Carmen is easy to trailer. She gets on easily (the off I'm hoping was an aberration as it was the first time). When I'm towing she's quiet and easy. when we stop she's not sweaty or stressed.
2. I am getting more confident and relaxed with the trailering. I lost my nerve after losing Steele. It didn't make sense to me at first (after all it wasn't a trailer accident) but I realized it was more about vulnerability and my feeling of not being able to control everything. However, as I do it more I'm getting my mojo back.
3. (and keeping with trailer theme) I need to remember the basic safety rules and wear gloves when loading and unloading.
But I did actually take away some riding tips too:
4. despite appearances, travelling alone, being without Irish and have her schedule disrupted does impact on Carmen. I need to treat her for ulcers before we go away- I'm not sure but I'm thinking at least a week.
5. Breathing is key for keeping Carmen relaxed in the saddle. I tend to hold my breath when I'm thinking and that makes for tense muscles. I've been practicing breathing deeply at work, in the car etc. Lately I'm very well oxygenated.
|gratuitous vacation pic illustrating fresh air|
7. Outdoor rings are not Carmen's favourite thing. I've now had her in 3 different outdoor rings and she's been spooky and looky in all of them. Strange as it sounds, it makes me feel better. This means that it's not just MY ring (i.e., I haven't ruined my horse). I can work on the rest.
8. I need to ask by tapping my legs, not by squeezing. As she gets more tuned in to me she's more sensitive and i need to do less. sigh. This riding stuff is hard.
And lastly, somewhere along the line this summer Carmen has decided that I am her human. When I was in the stall with her at the clinic Karen commented I love how connected you two have become.
I stopped and reflected and realized that was true. And that was probably the best takeaway of all.