I'm sure you're all dying to find out!
Apparently I'm still on a post a day kick so I'll keep this short.
First of all, last night I realized that Carmen was in full heat. She doesn't demonstrate a lot of the signs but I noticed in her stall she was 'winking' a lot. This is not typical. I'm noticing a correlation between the stickiness and her heats and I'm wondering if she is in discomfort and if I should do something about that. She is my first mare so I am a bit out of my depth on these issues so feel free to weigh in.
Today I had to wait to go get the last bit of hay so I decided to work her this morning. I almost decided to just lunge but I was curious to see if our work yesterday made any difference in attitude so decided to tack her up and play it by ear.
On the lunge she was a bit lethargic but perked up when asked. I decided to ride. Before I got on I spoke to Carmen:
Now I'm just looking for this to be a relaxed and supple ride. We're not going to work on anything big and I'd like to keep it short.
She watched me intently so I was hoping that she agreed. She stood still while I mounted. I found her to be a bit tight and stiff - not nervous tight , it felt different. So at the walk we did lots of gentle loops and circles with me asking her to bend and switch. I could feel her begin to loosen and her back began to stretch. She was a little 'looky' but not that bad. We probably spent a good 15 minutes on this. I then asked her to trot. She picked it up nicely enough but as we passed the gate she started to get sticky. Our conversation went like this:
squeeze, squeeze, chirp
really suck back
*tap* (and it was a tap, not a smack)
pins ears, kicks at leg
And forward we went. There was no further discussion. I kept to the same gentle loops and changes of directions. She began to give me the loveliest trot ever- it was forward, over the back and into contact. I could feel her hind end engaged and we were floating. She couldn't maintain it long but it came back easily enough. After 15 minutes of this work I ended it.
I think we both were pretty pleased with it.