I had a lesson booked with Shanea for 1:25 (I know, oddly specific, right?). I got on Carmen about 15 minutes before she arrived. Right as I was tacking up the sun came out so I grabbed my black fly hood. Cynthia bought them at Lee Valley and they are great- they fit right over the helmet and keep them from swarming. Shanea arrived and teased me about the hood. In about 5 minutes she headed down to the tack room to borrow Cynthia's. While she was gone something spooked Carmen in the grass beside the ring and she did a mini-bolt. Because I had her bent around my inside leg I was able to go with her. I just pushed her forward into canter and rode it out. It's funny- I get the adrenalin surge but not the fear anymore. Not that I don't tighten but it's not fear it's me trying to prepare.
Anyway the lesson was all about bending and going forward. I finally was able to do truly understand how to ride a figure 8 properly. Which seems foolish but there you have it. Our struggle is about controlling the forward. In some ways it's a happy problem. Remember when Carmen used to resist going forward and would throw in her haunches, pin her ears and just be pissy? Yeah, me too.
Now I have a horse that wants to go forward. But it can get over the top and then she loses balance. Especially at the canter and T-C or C-T transitions. I had to really figure out my seat to half-halt her instead of using the rein. We got there and things seemed to fall into place.
|here I am riding in my 'veil' but it really works!
Admit it- you are jealous....
All in all it was good lesson. I was happy with how we worked together and dealt with whatever was in the grass (there was something there - I could hear it too). Shanea remarked that Carmen seemed to be enjoying the work now. I have to agree. It's not something that she dreads or feels negative about. I may not be the best rider in the world (understatement of the year) and I've had a TON of help but I feel proud when I see how she enjoys coming to work. Even if she makes me work for it.
After my ride I put the finishing touches on some poles that Ed had got for me. Last week I painted them white and yesterday I painted the stripes. I need some more but this will be a good start.