First of all thank you everyone for your kind words. The boots seem to be working so far- his legs are dry on the inside. His raw flesh is already looking better and he seems a bit perkier. I'm feeling a bit more optimistic.
|there's a reason that relaxation is at the bottom|
I am trying to consciously embrace the idea of relaxing in my riding. A couple days ago Caelen set up a little trail class for us to play with. Including 3 upside down buckets in a barrel race pattern. Carmen went from being a bit tight to curious about the whole thing. We basically played in the ring and then went for a hack. And she lead the whole way.
|she sniffed the bucket and then flipped it over to check inside.|
Princess was annoyed at the lack of cookies inside.
Today I wanted to ride after work. The wind was quite high and I know what that means. When I went to get Carmen out of the field I was putting on her halter when Irish took off and she went with him. this happened a couple times. Curiously enough she would run a bit, stop, walk towards me and then, when Irish took off, she would go with him but apologetically. I think Irish is feeling better......
In the barn and heading up to the ring she was definitely up. I decided to lunge her first and I'm glad that I did- she was quite spooky and reactive. I worked on finding the balance between presenting a relaxed posture but not passive.
It's not easy.
I was prepared to not ride but as we worked she became more tuned in and her body relaxed so I decided to get on. My goal for the ride were to keep her calm and relaxed and supple. To do that I had to make myself relax no matter what I thought she might do.
Again, not easy. But it got easier. And it was interesting to see how she began to respond. As we did our quiet circles and changes of directions she began to breathe and stretch out. I refused to take a grip on the bit (although I did shorten the reins a few times but I made sure the my shoulders were relaxed). I spent a lot of the ride telling myself what to do.
In the end I was really happy with how I was able to get Carmen from a snorting, stiff necked, spooky horse to one up over her back and responding the lightest of aids.
Yup. As part of our 'do all the things' summer we're going to this clinic. I have heard wonderful things about it and it includes a ton of ground work. My goals are to expose Carmen to some training questions in a supportive atmosphere and perhaps add a couple tools to my tool box. I don't even care if we ride or just work from the ground.
So much fun.
So much fun.