dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sticking to the Plan

Horse camp is over. I took my niece to the airport Friday night. I really enjoyed having someone to share my knowledge of horses. We both declared the camp a success and decided that next year Caelen would come for a month.
Irish enjoyed Horse Camp too. 
Cynthia came out on Saturday morning to ride. I was hoping that Carmen and I would be able to carry on with our work. I have to be honest and share that I worry that we might backslide. Logically I know that we can have some bad rides but not go to back to the total breakdown in trust and communication that we had before. But logic is sometimes overruled by worry.

I gave myself a pep talk and reviewed what I had to keep in mind:

  • stay calm and focussed on task- do not buy into her drama
  • ride correctly from the beginning- make sure that my position is correct (well as correct as I can anyway) and my aids are clear
And guess what? It worked. I didn't focus on getting her to ride into the spooky areas- I focussed on riding the gait/pattern I had in mind. It didn't take long before she was tuning into me and not the potential dangers. I also had to stop her from swerving up towards C (our new rest stop). That felt so good to have this as a new issue. I even started to chip away at the 'rest zone' with work. I"m hoping that soon we won't be doing that at all. 

I wanted to work on getting her to lengthen stride but it was not a huge success. I needed to go back to walk-trot transitions with them coming from behind. Once I had that I took her across the diagonal and felt her actually stretch out into a slightly longer stride. I stopped and let her rest with lots of pats. 

Irish and Cynthia were rocking it as well. We were both done and then we went out around the field. I kept a short but following rein but she was completely relaxed and enjoyed the walk. 

Saturday night Ed and I went out to celebrate 29 years of marriage. It was a delicious dinner on the Lunenburg waterfront. this morning we awoke to the sound of rain. It was a great sound- we've not had any real rain for weeks. I was hoping for a rainy day but it stopped around noon. I went out to drag the ring thinking I would ride but it was so hot and humid it felt like a sauna. I was sweating just driving the tractor. The  horses were smart and hid in the barn all afternoon. I've been riding pretty consistently this summer- sometimes twice a day so I gave myself permission to take today off.  Carmen and I have had some intense rides this summer and now I believe it's time for her to learn that it can be fun, not a battle. 


  1. It's so amazing to hear that she's getting so consistently good. I'm so happy for you :)

  2. 29 years of marriage is amazing. Congrats. And I hear you on the heat and humidity. It's super horrible here too :(

    1. Thank you. It doesn't seem that long (well some days were very long).

  3. Congrats on 29 years! It seems you and Carmen found your way to a partnership. Leah and I are still searching for ours, but it is not easily gained which makes it all the more sweeter when it happens.

  4. Happy belated anniversary. Love reading what you and Carmen are up to together. Gives me hope for Grace & I. Kids & horses are just the best mix aren't they.

  5. Congratulations on 29 years! You and Carmen are doing great and I think you deserve a day off. Especially if it's as hot and humid there as it is here.


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