In the ring once I got on we started walking around warming up before Shanea arrived. I found her to be soft and forward. There were no issues in any part of the ring. We worked on bend and leg yields fro about 15 minutes and then Shanea arrived. We discussed the show results and what we've been working on. Then we got to work.
And you guys- I had the best ride on Carmen that I've ever had. She was soft, listening and responsive. With everything we asked she tried her best to figure it out. We started at the walk working on shoulder fore. Finally I figured out how to keep her straight through the shoulder so that she was really carrying herself.
We then added in haunches in. After a bit we were doing shoulder in to straight to haunches in. It was cool to have her soft and bending- even in troll corner. When we went to trot there were no issues at all like we often have with the first transition (although that has been getting better). She simply moved into trot promptly and energetically. We repeated the same exercises at the trot too.
After some initial posting trot, Shanea had me work on my sitting trot. We started off just on the short sides. When Carmen's back is tight it's very hard to sit. But when it comes up it's so much easier. But not effortless because I have to hold myself without tensing. That takes a lot of core strength and I could definitely feel it as we worked. But as sore as I figured I was going to be I didn't want the ride to end because it felt so easy.
|so much to hate about my position here. But at least Carmen is doing her part by stepping under|
|artsy canter photo catching the moment of the half-halt. Look at those ears.|
|we even got more stretch then this but I love how she's reaching|
We halted Carmen and basked in the pleasure that a good lesson can give. Many times I heard Shanea say 'good girl' and I don't know which one of us she meant but it felt like both of us. Carmen really wanted to stay close to Shanea and tried to follow her. It was kind of adorable.
Tonight, when I was doing the night feed Carmen was highly affectionate and wanted some snuggles. I feel like we starting to unwrap Carmen and letting her out from beneath her layers of anxiety and worry. I know that this is not it- we will still have days that are less than ideal. But for now I'm holding onto today and how good it was.