Well not unless you have also like a lot of frustration.
|Can't count on this right out of the gate|
One of the many things that she has taught me is that I can't afford the time to not take the time.
These days that means working on getting her attention on me.
On Friday I had her in the ring and I spent some time doing the ground work exercises. She was really good but when I mounted I could feel a ton of energy under me.
Basically my FB status summed it up:
Other than one big spook she wasn't 'bad' she just wanted to go. When I asked for a canter she was all 'hell yeah! Let's do this!' Such enthusiasm was a bit unexpected and it took some faith for me to not try to rein it in. It was like riding a ADHD rocket:
oh what's that? I should be wary of that. Oh, trot YES watch me go. Whaddya mean slow down? I don't want to slow down, let go of me! Hey, who put that corner there? Phew, it's all right we made it around, sorry about hitting your foot on the post but you really should pay more attention.
After we went for a hack at the end and I could feel that there was still a lot of gas in the tank.
The next day, Julia was out to ride (she was also there on Friday) and Carmen came out to the ring a lot more on high alert and less interested in tuning in. She was locked on the woods and was not so keen on focusing on me. I actually thought that I might have to get a lunge line but I persisted. And persisted. Finally she gave a big sigh and her whole demeanour changed. It took longer then I would have had patience with in the past. But I recalled Linda's experience and realized that it wasn't about what I wanted, it was about what Carmen needed.
Our ride was not stellar after that (although there were great moments) but I'm positive that taking that time at the beginning prevented me from riding out 3-4 bolts/spooks. I was pleased with my riding too- I managed to not get tense or tight (or not for long). When she gave me the loveliest of counter canter loops I stopped and we stopped there.
Today the ground work took maybe two minutes. She was with me from the get go and that was born out in the saddle. Carmen felt a bit sluggish but came around (pretty sure it's her heat). Julia's sister was riding Irish who's brewing an abscess. I think I rode all of 10 minutes and then we headed to the woods. Irish enjoyed the walk on the soft ground and Carmen led the whole way like a champ while I rode with one hand on the reins (which were looped).
Riding this mare is now FUN. I've waited a long time for that and I'm loving every minute of it. It's totally worth spending time on the ground to set us up for success.