I spent the morning dragging the ring (previous rain had compacted it a bit) and using the drag to level out the front paddock. The horses are now in the grass field so we need to re-seed the front one. The chain drag helps to level out the divots and break up the manure piles.
I then planted a Rhododendron that a friend had given me in memory of my mother. It will be a brilliant pink and she will love it.
Cynthia came in the afternoon and we got the horses ready to ride. Right away I could see that Carmen wasn't feeling it. In our ground work I had to work to get her attention and she was very 'looky'. I started to think 'oh crap' and then I thought 'wrong attitude. I can use this to practice what I had learned last weekend. If I can't get her to be calm and listening here then I have no business going to a show'.
With that in mind I mounted. She was tense and walking around and I kept repeating internally 'calm. calm, I am calm. Calm. I'm f-ing calm' (note- putting the F word in front is counterproductive so I dropped it).
Anyway I could feel it working. I was trying to get more control over how my body was reacting to her reacting. I realized that I had done this in the past but by accident so I didn't know what I was doing. Now I had a sense of it. She was really thinking about major spooks at certain parts of the ring but I used my seat and eyes to keep her with me. While she never truly relaxed until the end she never truly left me either. We did every corner of the ring too.
I practiced my walk-trot transitions keeping them light and soft. There was much less balking then before. I find when she loses her rhythm if I sit it's easier for both us. Rising trot with a loss of rhythm tends to throw me forward which she objects too (so does some rather tender bits of my own for that matter). Overall I was pleased with how I didn't lose the connection with her even though I was working harder for it then she was.
Unfortunately Cynthia did not have as easy a time. Irish's head shaking has started again (I was kind of hoping that it wouldn't but there you have it) so she had to go and put on his U.V. mask. It helped but not a lot. I hope that I don't have to explore some medications for him but I will if I have to. We shall see.
After riding and then feeding I had a quick shower and we went out to dinner. It was lovely and I was starting to fall asleep in my supper. Later that night I had an email that my show entry was incomplete. I was so annoyed because I had all the paperwork assembled (and it's a LOT of forms) but somehow missed putting it into the envelope. So now they are going to charge me $25 incomplete forms fee. Which I will pay but am arguing because technically entries haven't closed so I could withdraw and re-send without the penalty. But whatever. It's annoying but not life changing.
So it was a busy day- I may not be able to keep up the pace but for now I will enjoy it.
|random vacation picture from Sedona|