|yes, I took Guinness to a local brewery. We both approved of the Jesus Murphy Red|
Sometimes it's for her brain to get her focus on me. Sometimes that discussion takes a long time. Sometimes I have to be really firm with it.
But I refuse to end the ride until I get to work on some piece of first level. And this is not about being driven (although heaven knows I can be that). It's about not making the ride about being ridden. We've been there and done that. Carmen can be reactive. And, frankly, sometimes it seems to me that she looks for things to spook at. It's not unusual to hear me say 'uh-uh' when I can feel her planning to duck. She's learning that I will follow that up if she escalates and is actually responding to just the verbal (so yay, progress).
Things that we are working on are trot-halt-trot, lengthens (those are hard but are getting easier). I do baby counter-canters (to quarter line and back). Those are not hard for her at all. Cantering into the corner is a whole 'nother deal. Simple changes through trot are old hat and she barely registers them. Leg yields are 'okay'. The straightness part is the problem- it's so easy for me to get her crooked.
It's fun to be working on First Level. I know she has so much talent and that the limiting factors are me and her tension. But we're on our way.