dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Last week I decided that I want to spend one session a week just on groundwork. I wasn't planning on that day being today. The heat and humidity has returned so I figured that this would help me. Carmen was fine being tacked up. I saw that my sand delivery had arrived (I buy a load every year and move it up to the ring to replenish the sand as needed). I thought that Carmen would be a bit spooked by it but you can see her reaction below:

'why is this sand on my grass?'

On monday I asked Ed to mow down some of the grass around the ring- I was pretty sure that bunnies were trying to move in there and I didn't want them tunnelling under the ring. Carmen was fine except that the grass down in troll corner kinda freaked her out. I did some work with her but she stayed tight. I knew that I could get on her and work through it but it would probably be a big battle that wore us both out. Instead I went back to the barn, untacked her, put on her halter, the lunge line and grabbed the chain lead as well and headed back up. 

We started by working around the path Ed had carved in troll corner. She was kind of freaked out about it and kept trying to blow by me. I just kept calm and had her focus on me. I had to put on the chain shank so she didn't drag me around. I kept the lunge line so in one sense it was like a double rein- the easy lunge line with the chain as back up. Finally I had her walking calmly (although not happily) around and around and around the path. 

We went in the ring and played some more with her staying tuned in - and she was fine. I played with the hula hoop and she was all 'whatever'. I even could lay it over her back with no issue. 

We then headed out and went to far side to play on the second path. She really didn't care. So we went walking around the field in and part way into the woods. She followed me calmly, looking around and now worried.

looking around, alert but not worried
We need up at the end of the driveway and out on the road. No big deal. We walked up by the ditch and across the front of the house. I couldn't resist snapping a shadow selfie: 
she's just walking calmly along on a loose line. 
In the barn she was relaxed and it seems that she enjoyed her walk.

I finally realized that Carmen truly is a good horse in most circumstances. It's the ring. sigh. I know, I know- that has been pretty obvious for a long time. But I guess I truly didn't believe it until tonight. I always figured that how she was in the ring she would be everywhere.


  1. Love the shadow pic. Seems our gals are opposites at least today. Grace tense on the trail, calm in the arena!

  2. For now, you are working to balance her out! ☺

  3. Groundwork is always time well spent :)

  4. This week I so wished I'd had a chain. But then I know he'd have no skin left on his face if I had, with the bucking and trying to run off.

    1. oh dear. Does that mean he's feeling better?

    2. I guess I could look at it that way!: ) I would never lunge a horse that is consistently lame. He just takes a bad step trotting every so often, so I feel OK about it. The hooves need circulation so much. I also did a trim yesterday and he's fussy about his hinds but let me trim them at least.

  5. Cool shadow pic. It's really interesting to me that she's more scared in the arena than out. Most horses I've known find the arena to be their safe place.

  6. A calm Carmenr, enjoying her life, so lovely.


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