dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Taking Time

Carmen is not a horse that you can say 'hey, I just have 20 minutes to school so let's go'.

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. 


15 comments:

  1. It should be fun! Glad you two are having such a great time together. And I agree ground work is totally worth it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I had learned about it years ago!

      Delete
  2. What is with these mares and extra energy?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have just recently had to let go of any idea of how much time I have or any sort of schedule when I'm at the barn. It's really paying off so far! Your hard work and putting the time in has really paid off with Carmen :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard to do with life stuff but so very essential

      Delete
  4. I love what a great partnership you two have built :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not always sunshine and kittens. Sometimes it's thunderstorms and rabid racoons! But we're getting there.

      Delete
  5. The mare I ride, Madison was like this the other day...for about 15 minutes before she realized how hot and humid it was. Then she was all 'why are we doing this' and 'couldn't you tell I was busy with some grass' and staunchly moped through the rest of the ride.

    I'll take it though, because once hunt season is back on, she will be a fiery rocket of rotund draft x mare power who doesn't stop at anything! Gotta love those mares right?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess we do have to love them. Otherwise we might need to get our heads examined!

      Delete
  6. 😂 I’m glad you learned from my mistakes. Yes, you have to learn to trust your instincts and wait for your horse. Not doing so will only set you way back. Patience sure is hard for some (me). Case in point: Look at the difference in Carmen from one day to the next. It’s so nice that she is becoming that fun horse to ride—and you have a lot of years ahead to enjoy that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your openness and honesty are inspirational. I hope you didn't think I was criticizing, I honestly was thinking in the moment 'what would Linda be telling me?'

      Delete
  7. Lol what a goofy personality under that high-alert nature of hers. Love that you're having so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right- there is a real goof in there that makes me laugh. I need her to bring that out more often.

      Delete
  8. Charlie’s not really a 20min LETS GO kinda horse either. Mostly bc his body needs more time. Isabel was tho and sometimes I kinda miss it lol. Sounds like Carmen is doing super well tho!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.