We've celebrated New Year's eve in many ways- dances, parties, dinner out, dinner in, take out etc. My favourite way is to have a quiet celebration with friends or just at home with my critters. This year Cynthia invited us to her house and I was able to get a sitter for the night (thank you Joanne!).
We both had a lesson in the afternoon which is a great way to spend the day. The weather was just warm enough to thaw out the ring enough to ride in- it was borderline even after I dragged it but it was okay. Carmen and I rode first. I was happy to demonstrate that we'd done our homework and she walked off quite calm and relaxed. She was worried about troll corner but that didn't stop us from using the whole ring in our work.
I've been riding Carmen in Irish's saddle and she's doing much better- it's wider then hers but needs some padding underneath. Don't worry- the saddle fitter is coming out this week.
We worked on walk-halt-walk transitions. The idea was her to move squarely into the halts and stop off into contact from behind. I need to release so she has a place to go. Once she learned that she could step forward from behind and didn't need to lift her head and lead with her front legs she began to try to figure out where her head should be.
|almost square but balanced and listening|
|Trot to the left|
One ear forward, one ear back and reaching with her hind leg. Not all the photos looked like this but more then we used to have. Now if I could just get my hands even!
I have included this sequence because I think it sums up where we are right now (and I find it funny):
Here we are trotting a circle, she's soft and listening (I'm looking down but that's because my helmet liner is slipping over my eyes!).
And that's our rides these days- la-la-la-SQUIRREL-OHMYGODISITARMED-la-la-la. And that's WAY better then when we were scanning for squirrel snipers all the time.
Then it was time for canter work. Carmen is stickier to the right and does not want to be straight so we're working on that. But she doesn't like to do things she's not comfortable with and takes some convincing. I would worry about it except that our canter issues happen in very specific parts of the ring so some is physical strength and some is mental (this is where I swing my haunches in). Still it's coming a long way:
I'm not really hunched- my puffy vest is blowing back but I am trying very hard to not fling myself up on her withers in some mistaken belief that this is helpful. Both her ears are up and she's taking more forward so I'm happy.
Her canter to the left is much easier. And this photo shows the difference:
Of course this was farther into the lesson and she was much looser and listening. I love how uphill it is.
Cynthia and Irish had their lesson while I walked her around cooling off. She felt so nice and soft and relaxed it was awesome. I was able to watch a bit of the lesson- I love Irish he tries so hard to be good and he enjoys lessons.
After our rides we tidied up and then headed to Cynthia's. And this is where I lost my brain. Ed was already in the city and I completely forgot that he got a lift. It wasn't until Cynthia pulled into the driveway with me in the car that I realized we had no vehicle to get home with. Roh-roh. Ed's mom came to the rescue (she lives close to Cynthia) and we were going there for lunch the next day.
The guys had picked up some prime rib steaks to grill and we had a delicious dinner and wine. We actually made it to midnight (but I went to bed at 12:05). The next day I slept in until 9:30! I don't remember the last time I slept that late. We had a lovely lunch at Ed's mothers and then borrowed her car to go home. That night Ed and I had popcorn for supper because we went to see Rogue One.
All in in all it was a great way to start 2017 (well minus the senior moment).
What did you do?