After we arrived at Karen's we put the horses in their stalls. Carmen was uncertain about coming in but Cynthia helped with strategic taps on her behind with a dressage whip. Once in her stall, Carmen looked around, peed, drank and ate her hay. She was totally calm.
Irish, on the other hand, was in a tizzy.
After letting her chill for a bit, I brought her out and got her ready. She stood in the cross ties calmly and followed me I to the ring. In there she looked at everything and worried about the open doors. But she listened to me and did not have any melt downs. She was very intrigued by herself in the mirror which was cute. I decided to leave it at that for the night and ride the next day. It seemed to me that it had been a big enough day for the both of us and my goal was to keep this weekend positive.
That night a bunch of us went out to dinner and talked horses to our hearts content. It was fabulous and I slept deeply that night.
The next morning Carmen was relaxed and happy to see me. Irish was tired after spending the night staring out his window at Karen's horses. I was happy that Carmen was not buying into his energy at all.
Karen is aCentered Ridding instructor and she gave me a lesson on Carmen. We started off at the walk and we were tense as usual. Karen introduced me to concept of 'grounding ' in the saddle. It was revolutionary. I have the tendency to hold my breath when I'm concentrating but you can't ground and do that at the same time. I also learned about removing weight from my stirrups. As I breathed, grounded and released tension she became relaxed and focussed. I ignored where her head was but focussed on my seat and her hind end. Her trot became more and more fluid, she took up contact and we flowed.
I love it when you ride and the world drops away and shrinks to become two beings occupying one purpose.
She would look and even spook slightly at things.
Carmen: What's that?
Me: I don't know. Does it matter?
Carmen: no. Probably not.
Me: okay then.
We ended with her transitioning by my seat and breath.
Can you hear my smile?
This mare has so much heart and talent I feel blessed to have her.