dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Brain is Connected to the Hind End

I was not only able to arrange for a lesson with Shanea on Saturday, a friend also came to watch and take photos. It was an excellent lesson and she even took video*!

Carmen seemed to be a bit tense in the barn so I decided to lunge her first. I finished up just as Shanea arrived, so good timing. I spoke to Shanea about how Carmen had been quite challenging in the ring recently with lots of spooking.

We got to work right away, essentially working on the answer always being forward. When Carmen gets tight and tense I tend to tense and shorten the reins. Mostly because I like to live. But Shanea wants me to push her more forward (not faster) so that she's carrying herself.

As we worked on that I could feel how well it worked. This clip starts right after Carmen did a big spook in the corner.

You can see how tight she gets in the corner but as we work she relaxes more. While there's a lot to improve in my riding (isn't there always?), I see that my hands are less 'bouncy and I'm not over posting as much as I used to.

Essentially getting Carmen's hind end engaged is the key to getting her brain in the game. I knew this from before but knowing and putting into practice are two very different things.

I really wanted to work on leg yields. They are 'easy' for Carmen as long as she is relaxed. Shanea wanted me to put more 'sideways' into them now. It was interesting - she had me get Carmen started and then when she was going put on both legs. I had not been told that before but it really worked - Carmen kept going sideways and forward. It felt like floating.

Our canter work is coming along. She's carrying herself straighter and I'm doing somewhat better at laying off the inside rein.


Both Cindy and Shanea noted that her trot after the canter was nice and forward. Which is good because it felt fast to me and I might have been shutting it down.

By the end of the ride we were both sweaty and tired.

Me: 'okay, so what should I do for my homework?'
Carmen: 'I shall nap now'
Before you feel sorry for tired Carmen- she got to go out in her field (after a good groom) while I still had a long list of chores to complete.

This weather is great for continuing schooling. I am going to make the most of it.

(*I'm putting the videos to be honest and show where I am as a rider. Any advice is welcome but I have a trainer helping me and she's the one I take advice from. )

18 comments:

  1. Your leg yield work sounds exactly like our leg yield work! Katai also tries to get tight through her back but if I can keep her soft and pushing they are floaty and magical. Now if only I could ride well enough to get that more of the time :)

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    1. If only we could explain it to them!

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  2. Excellent lesson. Her trot was very nice after the canter. I find that to often be the case. Carmen is a lovely mare; and you are too critical of your riding. You are lovely together.

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    1. Aren't we all critical of our riding? :D Thank you.

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  3. I love the videos!!! She really looks great too! That spooky corner ride reminds me of the little mare velvet I've been riding haha, who also likes to unplug her hind end and scoot out. More engagement will always help us, me thinks!

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    1. Yes, once you are done with Velvet I expect you to come here and sort out Carmen...

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  4. Sounds like an excellent lesson! The videos look great -- you guys have come so far!

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    1. Thank you. It's easy to forget how far we have come.

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  5. You look great, and Carmen looks like an athletic, forward horse!

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  6. Your trees all still have leaves!! What the heck... all our leaves are down now, the trails are quite different when the trees are bare. And your wind is similar - never-ending.
    Despite the wind or the calendar, my daylillies are still blooming and I noticed some pussy willows budding again (not good for the pussies).

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    1. It's been so warm that our trees are turning far later then normal.

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  7. Thank you for your videaos and your hoest commentary - I have gained many ideas from reading your blog over the last year. I also have a mare that is sometimes reactive and hot, butquite athletic and forward, and I need to learn to harness the energy rather than clamping it down.

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    1. I am glad that you have found my experiences helpful. It's hard to not try to control the energy.

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  8. I think you guys look great. I can see what you mean by "tight" in the corners. Do you think that's become a habit in the corner or is something genuinely spooky?

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    1. I'm pretty sure at this point that it has become a habit that we have to break.

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  9. Hot damn y'all look good. Her tension through the spooky corner is SO much like Q it's creepy. And your posting! That was one of the first things I noticed in the first video and immediately thought, "Man, I need to be more like Teresa. Wow." Beautiful riding!

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    1. You are too kind in your comments. Thank you so much!

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