|green line is the goal, black line is what I do|
Okay, so that sounds dire. It really isn't.
We're making progress and I find myself having to figure this whole relaxation thing out. If I just wanted her to do what she was told it would, in some ways, be less of struggle.
|tight back, locked neck, stiff strides.|
That winter has settled in and riding is sporadic at best is not helping.
I am determined that we will tackle this whole relax and be supple thing. It is a process goal.
Today I had a lesson that really tested my resolve. Earlier in the day we could hear ATVs and a chain saw. I believe a family was cutting a Christmas tree. Although they were long gone when I took Carmen up to the ring she was convinced it was a death trap. I was able to get her relaxed and when I mounted she was calm. But she was also pretty clear about where she was going to go in the ring.
|nope, not gonna|
Shanea was talking me through keeping my leg on and getting her over but she was a brick wall. Which of course made me try harder and that led to my leg going back. I was getting frustrated because Shanea kept telling me to keep my leg there so she would bend around it and Carmen was telling me to fuck off.
I was working really hard at not grabbing her face, not letting her run, getting her to bend and staying in the saddle and it simply was not working. I finally had to stop and say to Shanea "Look, I know what you're saying and I'm trying. But no matter what my leg does she refuses to listen so telling me to keep it straight is not working". I know that she was trying to help but it felt like I was drowning and someone was standing on the side of the pool saying 'just move your arms, kick your legs and float'.
In case you think I'm exaggerating:
I didn't feel in danger. But running into the 'nope' was driving me nutty and I really had to fight my desire to just boot her and haul on the inside rein. I did pick up my crop to tap her on the shoulder she was driving against me. Fortunately I had Shanea to help stick with it.
Slowly, millimetre by millimetre we were able to get in tune. It was hard. And took constant focus. I had to be there and ride her like she was being perfect.
But we did get there. I was able to access her back and get her reaching for the bit.
Those are screen shots which are, clearly, cherry picked. I have a ton of video, but I won't bore you with a long clip. Here's a short one of where we ended up:
I think if I had been riding alone I think I would have given up and either dismounted or fell into arguing. I was happy that Shanea was there to help me stick it out.