Yesterday was a day off but today is a National Holiday so of course that meant riding.
I decided that Carmen and I needed to mix it up a bit. Enough of the same ride every time:
|yes, those are trotting poles|
Cynthia came to ride Irish. It was a beautiful hot summer day. The nice thing about it being hot is that it takes too much effort to be silly. I could see right away that Carmen was in a calm mood. During our ground work I realized that she was totally tuning me out so I worked on getting her attention through frequent changes of direction and gait. When I was sure I had her I put on her bridle and mounted. She was very good at the mounting block (go me) and stood quietly.
As we went to work I kept to my plan of warming up and not getting excited over her spooky places. As we worked down to the end of the ring and I had her trotting I could feel her tensing
I'm going to spook
I am! I'm going to run away
Okay. That's fine.
Hey, aren't you upset too?
Nope, I'm bored
Well forget it then.
It was funny. I wouldn't have said that I had been super tense but I realized that in tensing in response to her I was feeding her feeling of insecurity. She didn't know it was my response to her she just thought that it was because that area was truly spooky. So when I didn't change a muscle she completely relaxed. (slap me upside the head with a fish for not doing this sooner!). It's not that she didn't spook at all or react. It's just that I didn't and so it simply, well, faded.
After a bit I decided to try to poles. Irish had gone through them first and managed to break one (sigh) so Cynthia took that out, which left only 3. Oh Well. I headed up the quarter line making sure I had her channeled between me. As we went up that side she became distracted by the brush on the side.
You might want to pay attention
She trotted the first one, walked the second and jumped the third. We halted at the end and I circled back. She trotted one, walked two and trotted the third. After a few times we were trotting right through and she completely forgot about the brush and the trolls.
We finished up with some beautiful and relaxed canter work. It was the best yet.
Later the kids came for a BBQ and we sat on the deck eating and talking. Alec leaves to go back to school tomorrow so it was nice to see him again.
It's been a good Canada day.
|Happy Canada Day from Oakfield Farm|