*disclaimer- this blog is my interpretation of what I thought Roz meant. I could be completely wrong or, more likely, a bit wrong so please take the remainder of the post as what I took from the lesson not necessarily what was taught*
In the ring Roz commented that she seemed to be very calm and quiet and that stayed in our lunge work even after Irish left. I discussed that I had been working on getting us around the ring. Roz pointed out that the key is having her on the aids and the goal should not be to get into different parts of the ring but that was the test as to whether she was on the aids. That made sense although it seemed to me that I often think I have Carmen on the aids when she suddenly loses focus so logic dictates that you only know if your horse is off the aids and thinking that she is on the aids is really just a theory. (I know, I think too much).
Anyway we carried on with the lesson working on me making sure that I have Carmen straight and her hind end engaged. As you would expect it came and went. We did figures 8, transitions and bending. Carmen was reasonably attentive and quite willing.
|one of my fav shots of the lesson|
We then moved off the middle circle. This is when things got dicey. I think that Carmen became stressed and then very reactive to things outside of the ring and tried to drop her inside shoulder and get away. Roz had me raise the inside rein to keep her from spinning away. She also stood in the corner to help Carmen go there. Carmen was quite willing to go as long as Roz was there. Which reinforces my experience that she will go anywhere with me on the ground but gaining her confidence in the saddle has been much harder.
I was able to get her through it a few times and when is was not working to duck away, she began to slam on the brakes. When I asked to go forward she went backwards. It took a lot to get her forward and I was not always successful. We tried a crop to tap lightly but it was my first time riding with a crop and all she did was kick on it. (more on that in my next post).
We decided to change the issue and work her through familiar work and end on a good note. We returned to the circle in the middle and worked on getting her forward and listening. She did come back to me and we finished on a good note. I think that she had decided that we were done and was not appreciative of my (differing) opinion on that. It is not unusual for green horses to try different answers to training questions. The trick is finding the right one.
Here is some video of our lesson. I know that I am far from perfect but I am riding to the best of my ability. (I also know the risk of putting yourself on-line for all to critique so please be kind). There are other clips where it went better as well.
I was glad that Roz was there to help me through this. I have to work on keeping my focus on where we're going when she decides to stop and not worry about where she's taking us. Which is much easier in theory! But now I have a plan and we'll work through it.
The upside is that her energy created some lovely gaits:
Roz said that we had some moments when it looked very good, which was kind of her. As before, she stayed calm and positive throughout the ride. She also seems willing to come back.
My take away is that I need to practice the 3 Ps with Carmen:
I will need to paint it on a big sign at the end of the ring, but when we finally get it together, it's going to be fantastic.