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.