Carmen came right up to me and I put on her halter and led her to the barn. Irish gave a sigh and followed. He looked resigned when I put the gate up on the small paddock. I brought Carmen into the barn and she was as good as gold, none of the fuss that she gave yesterday. As I was grooming her Irish came into his stall and hung out.
And then he left. Carmen got upset at that but settled right away. I realized that the wind was going to make the arena a very different environment than yesterday. There are bushes, trees, tall grass etc all of which would be in full motion with the wind. I quickly formulated a plan for our work and then shared it with Carmen:
"the goal for today is for you to learn that even if everything is blowing around that there is nothing at all to worry about up there. K?"
She looked at me but didn't venture an opinion.
Sure enough as we walked up and into the ring it was clear that she was really worried about the way everything was being blown. I started with us in hand and then went on to lunging. There were good and bad moments but I was so impressed with how she would come back to me. I worked on being calm and clear. I'm not sure that I succeeded completely but I was trying so I'll give myself points for that. We alternated with in hand and lunge work. Once something really spooked her and she bolted away on the lunge. I didn't move and spoke softly to her and she never pulled against the line and came back to work like a good girl. However, it was clear that she was highly distractible and tense. I decided that the riding was not a good idea today and I should end on a good note.
When we finished she followed me down to the barn as calm and happy as could be. She was quite sweaty so I took her out and hosed her off. She's funny about the hose- when it first comes on she jumps (even though it's pointed away from her) but doesn't mind being washed. She was even drinking from the stream.
I turned her out and she had a good roll and then settled to grazing. When I walked over the fence rail she came up to say hi.
So even though I never sat on her, it seemed to me that we accomplished quite a bit. Johanna advised me that you should solve all riding problems from the ground. I used to view it as a failure if I didn't ride but not anymore.
At least that's my story
|I want to be sure before I tried to ride this movement :)