I've been trying to make the rides focussed and easy so that the rides weren't really hot and unpleasant. That of course has been dependent on Carmen but she's continuing to be really good. This week she has also come into heat. Last year being in heat meant that Carmen would be cranky and balky. This year I find her sluggish and she needs a long slow warm up. I find that if I let her do her slow trot and then build on it we have far more productive rides (by productive I mean not a big battle). I could get her more forward sooner by being forceful but I'm not sure that's either fair or required. If I can there by being patient and letting warm up slowly we end up in a much better place. I have even taken her for short hacks by herself.
|"Foggy mornings are best for eating"|
Today was also hot and I hoped to get my ride in before the fog burned off. Unfortunately the sun came out just as we were headed up to the ring. Funny story: as we walked up to the ring I was surprised by a small garter snake slithering under my foot. I gave a jump and a squeak. I am not afraid of snakes but I wasn't expecting it. Carmen never even flinched but she gave me a look that spoke volumes:
Carmen: And you say that I'm spooky.
Me: Well it surprised me.
Carmen: uh huh. Sure. I get it. Spooks happen. It's no one's fault.
Me: Are you being sarcastic?
Carmen: Who me? Never.
It was really hot and Carmen was stiff so I kept the ride slow and did a lot of walking and bending. We did some trot work and a wee bit of canter. I walked her over to drop the gate. She's now knows to stop until I grab the board and then she walks forward to slide it open. I walked her down to the barn and hopped off. I hosed her off and then let her cool off in the shade of the maple tree.
A lot of people have commented on how much more relaxed and happy she seems. I have to agree with them and I feel a sense of pride in it as well. She's far more affectionate- after our ride she put her head against my chest closed her eyes with a droopy lip. She has made me a more patient and a more focussed person. I think I have helped her become a more confident and willing horse.
I guess we are good for one another.