Between looking after Belle and the weather I haven't ridden since Monday. I was scheduled to have a lesson Friday but it poured all day. Same with Saturday. I was feeling a bit frustrated but to be honest I think it was a good thing. I'm not sure that I was emotionally calm enough to be a good leader and Carmen isn't at a point where she can be the comforting one.
Fortunately, I was able to rebook the lesson for Sunday. The day dawned foggy but the sun was trying to come through. I got Carmen ready early because I figured she would need more time on the lunge given the time she's had off. She was cranky at first getting ready but I was expecting that. I've noticed that she gets annoyed if she believes I've been neglecting her. As I groomed her and gave her attention she relaxed and became softer.
I was glad that I had planned some time to work with her on the ground because she really needed it. Not because she was wild but she was definitely tight and spooky. I kept it simple and very black and white- paying attention to me was right and looking around and ignoring me was not. By the end she was focussed on me even with distractions.
The time was perfect for when Shanea arrived. Let me sum up the lesson with one sentence: it was AWESOME. I enjoyed my second lesson as much as my first. It was all about getting Carmen moving from behind and tuning in to what I was asking. She was leery of some areas and I worked on giving her room to listen but staying supportive.
We practiced flexing and changing the bend on the circle. At first she was all 'what?' but then figured it out and it went a lot better. From the middle we worked our way out around the ring. Carmen was, of course, worried about certain spots - when this happens her head comes up and her topline gets very tight:
|head up, under neck stiff, hind legs trailing and someone|
please cut off my hands!
I'm to keep my elbows engaged and ask her to bend around my inside leg. Unforunately, my hands tend to get a bit uneven as well. But as we worked she would drop and relax. As the lesson progressed that came faster and faster.
|hands better(ish) and she's starting to step under|
We worked on the leg yielding and it was improved from last time. As was her straightness on the quarter line.
Our trot work was a lot better as well. She was flowing forward and listening to my aids. Of course it wasn't perfect but she wasn't trying to run away or balk.
|I love her soft and listening ears here. And I may be smiling.|
|being very brave through a spooky corner and I obviously need|
to make sure that her head is still there.
|moving forward. I am being a bit defensive in my body but letting her have some rein and |
it doesn't look awful.
We finished with a wee bit of canter work- I asked for it so that she could see what we were doing.
|I'm a little perched but let's look at the inside hind....|
When Carmen is happy there's a calmness in her demeanour and a softness in her eye that tells me about the horse that she will be.
Today was just what I needed.
What a wonderful end to a difficult week! You and Carmen are making so much progress.ReplyDelete
Thank you- it really feels like that to me!Delete
What teamwork! Looking so fancy!ReplyDelete
lol, I hope that the judge will think so when we hit the show ring!Delete
Shanea sounds like a wonderful coach! Glad you had a great lesson after a very tough/sad week. You two look great in these pics :)ReplyDelete
Thank you! I'm quite happy with it. I just need to learn to let go!Delete
Carmen is gorgeous as usual and you look like you were having fun. It's great to find a good trainer who remains calm no matter what. She seems like a good fit for you both. Awesome lesson.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I really think that she's a nice fit. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will continue to work out.Delete
You look great. She is such a beautiful horse!ReplyDelete
thank you! I think she is too. :)Delete
You both look awesome. I'm sure riding was good for your soul today.ReplyDelete
it really was!Delete
Miss Carmen is drop dead gorgeous when she is soft. Great work, you two.ReplyDelete
I think so too- it feels great too.Delete
gotta love those lessons that can just clear away gray skies and make things right again :DReplyDelete
Gotta love good lessons, especially after a tough week!ReplyDelete
Yes it was just what I neededDelete
Ah, it takes time to become partners with our horses, but it seems like you're knocking on heaven's door with Carmen. No great relationship comes easy, but our need to be with them keeps us coming back for more, and eventually we have that deep, deep love. Love isn't cheap!ReplyDelete
Thank for this- I love your way with words.Delete
It sounds like you and Carmen are really finding the same sheet of music more and more these days! What a great lesson.ReplyDelete