However, Friday was much nicer and Cynthia came out so that we could ride. It was chilly but not that bad and the ring was fine. Carmen was a bit tight and reactive so I made myself a sponge. Once she was settled lunging I got on. One thing I had always been taught (or at least the last few decades) was to follow the motion of the horse. I was trying but Carmen was all over the place with her rhythm, head, body, etc. My contact was all over the place. I finally realized that I was looking for her to stabilize so I could follow and all I was doing was making us both unstable and pissing her off.
I took a deep breath and said 'I guess one of us should be stable and I think it's up to me'. I settled myself into the saddle and put my leg on - not squeezing, just there. I shortened the rein a wee bit and settled my hand. For the next several minutes I worked on making sure that my seat was loose and my hands maintained the same amount of contact no matter what. When she sped up I asked her to slow, when she gawked I asked her to come in and voila. I had my horse and we could go to work. I started on the middle circle and gradually made it bigger.
Cynthia called over 'she looks like she saying 'I don't really want to listen but I will". Which pretty much sums up how she felt. As we went along she began to loosen and blow relax. In the end I had a trot that was floating and we were all over the ring.
I was very happy.
This morning dawned sunny and warm (with 'warm' being a relative term - like 3 degrees and no wind). Cynthia and I went to get ready and ride early. Carmen was a completely different horse. In the barn she was mellow and happy. I lunged her and it was immediately apparent that she was relaxed and tuned in. I think you're going to have a good ride Cynthia predicted.
And that's what we had. It wasn't anything exciting (yay for boring rides) but it was exciting for me because:
1. we could ride anywhere in the ring right from the start.
2. her one spook was in place and then she carried on
3. there were no protests/balking/kicking.
She was just a horse being ridden and it was all fine.
|don't let the snow fool you- it was lovely out|
Happy Gotcha day Carmen. I hope you are as happy with me as I am with you.