In my head there are three different years:
1. The socially agreed upon January - December.
2. The school year of September to June (at least that's how it is in Canada).
But the most important one is:
3. Horse riding year. It's the most important one of all. For me it starts in March when things start to thaw and I begin to want to ride.
So the lesson I had in January was the last one of the year and the one I had on Sunday was the first lesson of the year.
At first I wasn't sure if it could happen it became quite cold Saturday night, but the ring thawed enough that we could make it work.
Normally, when I start back riding I want to get things going before I have a lesson. However, if you recall the last two years things have started out well but then quickly spiralled downward. While I'm not sure that this would happen this year, I decided to play it safe and see if we could avoid all the drama.
I started with ground work and Carmen was a bit excited because she was all alone. But not anything too bad. Just as I was finished up the ground work Shanea arrived. We chatted about how things have been so far and then I hopped on and we started working.
The whole lesson was about the half-halt. We started with the full halt.
It was really neat to teach Carmen to rebalance through the half-halt. There was a bit of confusion at first and I needed to sort out how to make my aids the right volume. As we progressed both of us figured it out and I could really use the half-halt to get her to slow down and tune back into me even with spooky and scary stuff going on.
There were a few places that she was quite looky and she even gave a few big spooks. What was interesting to me was my reaction. Even when we flew sideways I went with her and my heart rate accelerated (of course). But I immediately went back to work and I did not have the post-spook reaction of anger/fear. The only way I could explain my attitude was of 'this is interfering with our work'. I didn't even worry about what it was that was spooking her or try to avoid it. Even when the neighbour starting revving his ATV (I think it was an ATV). When that happened she got quite tense (fair enough) but I didn't back off and I didn't ramp up with her- I just kept to task.
While the photos and videos show lots to work on I had some of the best trot work ever on her. It was effortless to sit to and needed very little to adjust or steer.
|some lift though her back and bringing her leg under.|
|'lets not bulge in' :)|
Later that day we went to visit my son and his new puppy. There was puppy mayhem everywhere.
|such innocent faces what could they possibly get up to?|
And after all that excitement Guinness had 'puppy class'. He was the cutest, smartest, best behaved puppy there (of course you wouldn't doubt that, would you?).
That night Guinness and I slept like logs. I dreamed that I was at a show with Carmen and the judge gave me a -2 for my riding score on the test. Not that I'm worried that I won't ride Carmen well. Nope. Not me).