I started Carmen on the lunge and then mounted. Carmen gave one rather large spin/spook just before Shanea arrived. I gave her the update on how things were going. Shanea asked what I wanted to work on and I said 'since she's quite tight and tense, can we work on how to warm up through that? I might be dealing with that at the show and I'd like a plan'.
Not that I don't have a plan but I wanted to see how Shanea would tackle it.
|here is super-tight and tense Carmen, really wanting to run away from |
all the scary green stuff blowing in the wind.
Shanea likes to have the horse relaxed and soft at the walk before moving on and she doesn't really care how long that takes. The goal was to walk around the whole ring and change directions. Carmen was allowed to notice things but needed to understand that she was expected to stay on task. When she came off the aids I was to correct it (well ideally I was to prevent that from happening but then there's reality). It was interesting to feel how my correcting now gives Carmen confidence rather than a reason to argue. It probably helps that I am much less reactive.
|so much better|
|we can sometimes pull it all together|
As Carmen started to trot she began to sneeze and it kept going. I think with the wind and the pollen it had gone up into her nasal passages. She has no discharge or any other signs. We gave her lots of walk breaks and she didn't seemed winded in anyway. After a few sneezes she settled down. She really getting lots of reach in her trot and it's getting so much steadier. Not that we don't have bobbles- we do. But before it was mostly bobbles.
One thing we struggled with was our upward transitions- they were a bit delayed and not smooth. I'm sure that I was just trying to hard. Our downward ones were great. As we carried on they really improved.
|I swear that I don't realize I'm smiling when I'm riding, but|
man I love when she flows
We then picked up a canter. The biggest improvement this year is in her canter- it's much straighter and balanced. Well mostly- once we were cantering down through the corner she sneezed and the wind blew and it startled her and she bolted. I got her back though in about 20 feet and we went back to work. Shanea said that she's learning that bolting is not the right reaction. She really had been startled but I was happy that she hadn't porpoised or gone sideways.
Other than that one issue our canter work was pretty good. We practiced going across the diagonal and transitions to trot at X and it was some of our best canter-trot transitions.
While we aren't showing Test 3 of Level 1 Shanea asked me to do a counter canter loop. It was awesome. And I know that because a) I felt it and b) Shanea said 'wow that was terrific'.
We did a run through Test 1 and Shanea coached me through some of the issues: anticipating a canter transition (post so she doesn't get concerned), the half- circles (don't forget about her hind end on the turn so she doesn't fall in).
Next week is our show and I'm getting quite excited. Not that I'm thinking we'll get any great scores- I know that we can do it but it's still just about miles. But I am excited for us to go and have fun.
|fancy prancy pony.|