dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Training Ride

Cynthia and I had lessons booked for Friday. The weather was lovely in the morning- there had been a skim of snow but the sun was shining and it promised to be a lovely day. Shanea texted me earlier to make sure- turns out that there was a lot of snow in other parts of the province but I promised her that here was fine.

When I went to get Carmen there were a few clouds and the wind picked up. In the ring I started to lunge Carmen and was immediately flying a 1100 pound kite. She was bolting and trying to fly around the ring. I worked at getting her settled and Cynthia came up to the ring.
whoa- she looks a little excited. 
It also started to snow- hard little ice pellets.
Oh yeah. Just then my phone beeped- Shanea had texted that she was 10 minutes away (love that she does this). I answered that she might be getting on Carmen first. She had offered before and I thought that this might be good for both of us.

I did get Carmen settled on the lunge. Cynthia moved around the ring making noises while I worked on helping her work through it. As Shanea arrived she was pretty calm but I know her to know that there was still a lot of action under the surface.

I put on the ear piece and Shanea got on. I had thought that she might just ride for a bit but she did it for a full hour. It was wonderful- because of the mike system she was able to talk to me as she was doing things and it was very helpful to listen. Carmen was definitely 'up' and ready to run away but Shanea was very good on her timing and clarity so nothing ever escalated.

I watched Carmen go from up and tight to forward and relaxed. By the end her trot was excellent. And I have media to prove it (I did get permission to post these):

starting off tight and looky- I love how she sits back and gives guidance






And I got video of her canter. I love how cadenced this was:

That is not 'noise' in the video- that's snow.

In short- no matter what ride Carmen forward to the bit. Help her to look for it. Don't worry about the chomping when she's tight and nervous, just keep your hands quiet. I followed her around the ring as the weather went from sunny to cloudy to snow to back again. The wind was bitter and I was slowly freezing to death. When it was time for Cynthia's lesson Shanea asked me if I wanted to walk her out. I said that it was okay- she had done a lot etc., etc.

The truth was that I was so cold my muscles were tight and I just wanted to get out of the freaking wind. But then Shanea called me a wimp and I decided screw it- I was getting on. AT the mounting block my leg refused to bend to put my foot in the stirrup. Seriously. But once we got walking the circulation returned to my legs. I couldn't believe how soft she felt. It was fabulous. When we headed to the spooky corner I could feel her back off but when I gave a soft squeeze with my calves she just walked forward. I walked her around for a bit and then hopped off.

While Cynthia rode I hid in the heated tack room. After taking care of Carmen of course. She nickered for Irish a couple times but was pretty calm in her stall. I let her into the small paddock and she just stood there eating her hay. I did see a bit of Cynthia's ride and it looked terrific.

Shanea came into the tack room after to warm up. She was full of praise of both of my horses. She said that Carmen had 'so much potential' and I was all 'I know, right?' and inside thinking (don't mess it up!). She also said that Irish was a great horse who really knew his job and was a great horse to learn on. I felt pride for that because I've had him since he was three. Obviously I had help from many people but I was the one in the saddle.

 That made up for me feeling a bit like a wimp for not getting on Carmen from the beginning. But that was just my pride talking- the truth is I think it was good for Shanea to get on. It allowed me to see worked for her, it allowed Shanea to learn about how Carmen is and it allowed Carmen to figure stuff out.

On a side note she had some issues going to the right but I can't find any sore spots. It also wasn't evident on the lunge. I'm wondering if her saddle needs adjusting. I shall have to get it checked.

19 comments:

  1. That canter clip is lovely! And she looks so soft and elastic in the trot photos.

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    1. Yes she really transformed into a lovely soft horse.

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  2. It is inspiring to watch someone else ride your own horse. A friend who rode Rock years ago mentioned recently how she will never forget how comfortable his trot was. She's ridden a lot of horses since then.

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  3. I really love watching my horse go with someone else, particularly if there's something I'm unsure of or am struggling with. You shouldn't feel like a wimp! Also, can Carmen please visit and teach Bridget that canter? :)

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    1. LOL only if Bridget can teach her to go anywhere and be happy!

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  4. Great canter! I actually think it's good for a trainer to get on to see how a horse goes and where any issues lie. And you're not a wimp, you got on and walked her afterwards.

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    1. Thank you- you make some good points.

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  5. Agree: our trainer riding our horse helps the trainer figure out what works and what doesn't so they can help us even more :). You're not a wimp at all! Carmen's canter is lovely. As is she. <3

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    1. Thank you for your kind words about Carmen. and your make a good point.

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  6. I love having trainer rides. I really like watching Nilla move with someone who knows what they're doing on her. And I selfishly like having it confirmed that Nilla is difficult and it's not all my fault.

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    1. Part of me was happy to see her testing at Troll Corner......

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  7. A trainer ride that you can watch is so useful! Seeing the trainer's use of their body, timing and problem solving techniques can sometimes be more clear than verbal instruction. Love the canter video!

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    1. That is true - when she said 'I'm doing this so Carmen can do that I could see it happen and it made a lot of sense.

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  8. Sounds like a super productive day for the pony, even if it was super cold. I'm relearning the same lesson about "ride forward no matter what." It's hard sometimes.... But is actually starting to feel kinda liberating.

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    1. It is liberating- it's hard though when it feels like it might be an big explosion or if Carmen says 'no!'

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  9. Trainer rides can be great. I find they are extra useful on "bad" days because then you can see what an expert does to deal with the situation and hopefully recreate that yourself next time.

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