dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, September 15, 2017

My Zen Unicorn



Carmen's mellowness is continuing and while I am enjoying it I am also struggling to figure how to ride her.

I have skills to ride spooky Carmen, zoomy Carmen and even resistant Carmen.

But lazy, Zen Carmen is confounding me. Don't get me wrong - I have ridden lazy horses and I know how to ride them. However, I don't want to teach Carmen that her mellowness is wrong. Getting after her seems to be not quite the right thing. So instead I am trying to build her forward out of the mellowness. It sounds good but I am really just making it up as I go along.

So the lesson I had today was perfectly timed. When Shanea arrived we were just getting into the ring. I explained about how she's been lately- mellow, not-spooky and lazy. As we chatted Carmen stood there looking like she was having a nap.

We started off working on leg yields- first towards the rail and then adding in zig zag lines. It helped me to understand how to use the outside rein for straightness- I have a habit of over bending her and then trying to get her to go sideways. Part of that was to keep her from looking out and then spooking. But I don't need to do that now.


Shanea also set up some trot poles on one side and a single pole on the other.  What I like about Shanea is that she's all about being correct and she insisted that I set her up for the poles about three strides out and then let her go through but I wasn't allowed to be 'floppy'. All of this is true but as Carmen began to use her hind end and lift her back it was a lot of movement.



Did I mention it was hot? Carmen and I were sweating. But we weren't done.

Shanea had us pick up a canter and once that was established canter over the single pole. By this point Carmen was forward and energetic. She was also, not spooky excatly, but starting to look around. I just kept riding her forward and worked on keeping her up in the bridle. The nice thing was that she was taking the bit and moving into the bridle.  We then cantered down towards the pole. The first time over I was all look at us- we're JUMPING over the pole. This is so much fun! But what came out was more like 'squeeee'. Shanea laughed at us. We kept practicing coming up. Shanea said that it was cool because at first Carmen was a bit unsure and then her ears came up and she was having fun.

umm, there's a stick in our way

whee

It was a fun lesson. I love working with Mellow Carmen. Part of me is thinking that adding some jumping into our routine would be fun. Not that we'll be doing anything big. At least not on purpose.

16 comments:

  1. So much progress - you two look amazing!

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  2. I'm glad she is enjoying the jumping -- its fun when you can mix things up. I find that riding a lot of transitions helps wake up Lucy on the occasions when she is in a mellow yellow would rather nap mood.

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    1. That's a good idea. Usually I do transitions to calm her down. I shall see how they work with getting her going.

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  3. Mellow Carmen is gorgeous!!!!!!

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  4. Aww zen Carmen and the poles! The photos and video are lovely ☺

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    1. She was cute about them. I've done poles before and she sometimes would get pissy. Like 'who put these in my way?!'

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  5. Omg I love her expression in the video!! Jumping makes for excellent cross training ;)

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    1. Shanea was laughing at us - she said at the beginning we were both 'EEEK, OMG' and then we 'yeah! let's go!'. And I agree. I do want to incorporate some jumping into our routine.

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  6. What a fun lesson! I like this new Mellow Carmen :)

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    1. Me too. It's making things so much fun.

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  7. Aww Shanea sounds so perfect just what you need to get Carmen going again, who knew you would ever have a Mellow Carmen ??

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    1. I had high hopes that she was in there. It's just taken some time to get her there.

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  8. You will figure out the new normal. Add the jumping! Clearly you both like to do new things. Keep it fresh. It has brought y'all so far!

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Carmen used to not like new things but you are right- she is different now.

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