But when I went upstairs to change my riding clothes were just right there. So I sighed and put them on. I brought the horses in and then tacked up Carmen. I debated how to start my ride. I knew with the wind and chill in the air that she was likely to be spooky.
|big sky and horses on high alert|
I decided to not over think it. I knew I had the tools and unless she crammed me into a tree we should be okay. So I swung my leg over and walked us out of the ring. Carmen queried whether we were going left to the barn but I asked her to go right. With a brief hesitation we headed out. She was definitely on her toes so I kept the rein a bit short.
We walked into the woods and I'm pretty sure that both of us had a high heart rate and were both trying to hold it together. We walked by a felled tree and the branches must have brushed against her because she spooked and ran forward. While I was preparing to ride a full on bolt through the woods she came right back to a walk.
Camren: *cough* you are telling it wrong. It was a zombie trying to grab my legs. I saved both of us. You're welcome.
Me: yes dear.
Carmen: is that sarcasm?
Me: Who? Me? Never!
We came back to the ring to school. I tried to shut the gate from her back. While Carmen is awesome about opening it, the idea of closing it seemed to cause confusion. She kept going back to open it just as I was just about to drop the rail in to close it. Finally I laughed and dismounted to close it. She wasn't being difficult- she was just doing what I had trained her to do. (note to self: watch Julia close it when she's on Irish).
After that we went on to have a very good ride. Carmen was still up and had some feelings about things but I stuck to my work on adjusting the aids to the situation and each time she came back. She got quite heavy and on the forehand with our canter so I focussed on the half-halt to set her up and on her hind leg. I could feel her start to shift her weight backwards and lift in front. It was pretty cool.
|don't let her fool you- she was as full of energy |
at the endas she was at the beginning.
It was a good ride for both of us. I am beyond thrilled that I was able to hack out on our own. I had tried this before but I had to dismount when she freaked out over a deer (fair enough). I haven't been brave enough to try it since then. This felt controlled and like we were both trying. This felt huge to me.
|Me: Well that was fun|
Carmen: I admit nothing