I wanna dance in the dark and never stopWe gonna light up the night like shooting starsWhenever you hear the sound don't be alarmedMove move moveDancing in the dark
I have a confession to make:
I have never ridden Carmen alone under the lights.
Go ahead and call me chicken. I've called myself that. But the truth is I listen to that inner voice when it tells me that something isn't right. This relationship I'm building with Carmen was so very fragile at first that I was afraid to shatter it by being careless. In full disclosure- I also did not want to get hurt.
These days though, Carmen and I are gaining confidence in ourselves and each other. Recently, being in regular (and excellent) lessons has helped push us forward as well.
Yesterday, I went to bed with a splitting headache. Today at work it came and went and it was driving me batty. When I got home I decided to stay outside and see if the fresh air would help (spoiler alert- it did). As soon as I pulled up and got out of the car, Carmen was locked on me and her gaze followed me as I went into the house. I decided to put on my riding clothes 'just in case'. I brought in the horses and gave them supper. I then puttered for a bit
I decided to tack Carmen up and head up to the ring. She was pretty quiet about the whole thing- although she did take exception that I wouldn't allow her to stick her head in Irish's feed- he never finishes in right away and that drives her bonkers.
It was just dusk when we headed up to the ring, not quite dark. Carmen was good on the lunge so I didn't spend much time on it before I mounted up.
As a dressage training ride it was a nothing to write home about (or blog about ha-ha). But as a confidence training ride it was terrific. As it got darker the spot lights came on (love my solar motion sensing spot lights). Carmen was obviously a bit freaked by it all but her instinct was check in with me and she actually listened to me: instead of screw you I'm out of here. Enjoy being eaten by a tiger sucker!'.
It was more like "I hope you know what you're doing and if we get eaten by a tiger I will never forgive you but okay, we'll do it your way"
There was one teeny-tiny scoot and one small spook. She was tense and had a hard time letting go but she listened. And I didn't grab or hold tight her mouth. When I got tight in my seat I relaxed it. In the end we were cantering around the in the circle of lights and I was doing an okay job of rating her speed with half-halts (as opposed to grab and hold).
I decided to end it at that note and not push for more- it seemed that we were pretty much on the edge of what she could handle.
I dismounted and we walked down to the barn feeling proud of both of us. I put her away and she looked at me over the stall door
I was pretty good wasn't I?
Yes you were.
I totally deserve a carrot, right?
Yes you do.
|Obviously not from tonight but from our lesson friday|