dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Inspiration

I returned from the Jackie Brooks clinic all inspired. I felt that we had made some leaps forward in our learning and I really wanted to keep going.

Mother Nature had other ideas.

The weather has turned cold and Novemberish. I don't know why it's such a surprise but it really is.

I miss this weather

So I squeeze in rides when I can.

Carmen has definitely noticed the change in weather. She's also very very fit. Not that this is an issue at this point in our relationship. Carmen will likely always notice things and I don't think that she'll ever not have opinions.

Often our rides start off a bit tense and her threatening to spook/run away. At times she will actually spook. And it really doesn't matter. Because, as I stay on task and keep us on the work she comes to me and meets me half-way.

Riding is fun. No more do I have a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. At times I actually laugh at her antics.

Today a young woman named Julia came out to ride Irish today. It was a cold day but fortunately the wind was gone. Both of them had a ton of energy but were using it positively. Every time I looked at Irish he was having fun.  Carmen gave a couple spooks but otherwise was nice and forward.

What I am finding with our rides is that while we might start tight and tense we end soft and loose. Today I played a bit with the canter-walk departs. Those are really coming although Carmen still believe that the 'cue-pin ears-flail' maneuver has more flair. Her canter seems to be so much improved - I think it's because I'm remembering to make sure she's loose and straight and slowing up before I ask.

I'm remembering Jacquie's instructions praise every time the horse even tries to find the answer. It's funny how much that works. Even for things that I know that she knows (and she knows that I know she knows how).

Today I played with the lengthens in canter and trot and she was really stretching out over her topline and reaching. They wouldn't score well in the show ring (yet) but she's getting the idea.  And from the idea we will can build.

I need Shanea to come back and work with us but she's away.

After the ride Julia and I went in the woods for a short hack. She was surprised at how different Carmen was in the woods. As we came up to the barn Irish picked up a canter and so did Carmen. which was fine. And then we were galloping. And then I lost steering. I called to Julia and she slowed up. I didn't mind the gallop per se but I didn't want to gallop into the barn or slip on the grass.


While I may not have much time left for training until winter stops us (although I am still thinking of taking her a few times to an indoor if I can line it up), I am still happy with where we are going.

24 comments:

  1. It all sounds good and I love the picture. It got really cold and windy here too. But maybe we'll have a reprieve and get a few more warm days in before the snow flies. Carmen seems to love the trails so over the winter maybe trail rides would be fun when you can't line up an indoor.

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    1. As long as the footing doesn't get icy it should be okay. I don't mind the cold- it's the icy wind that does me in!

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  2. Verbal praise works so well for Katai too. The more I praise her the harder she tries :) It can turn her from crabby or tense to blowing out and relaxing.

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  3. Praise is key. Val can't tell when I'm all up in my head about my own issues, and maybe thinks I'm stressing about him. Super important to reassure often, especially with the sensitive ones.

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    1. I agree. Carmen seems to worry about getting it 'wrong'.

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  4. ugh winter ground conditions are arriving here too. le sadness. it's so hard to feel all jazzed up and motivated, but be unable to really do as much as we want!

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    1. I don't know why I'm always surprised but I am.

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  5. Hmmm, your November is looking very different from mine (plowing @ -18* Yuck).

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  6. You would enjoy riding in the snow, before the ice. It's also a good time to practice bareback in the arena--with the soft snow to catch you if you fall. Fun is good!

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    1. I love riding in snow. Not sure about the bareback part...

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    2. If the snow is deep, it is soft to fall in. I know. I fell in it when Beautiful Girl scooted forward too quick. But she wasn't a trained riding horse. :)

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  7. Yee-hah! Smiling at your gallop to the barn. (I can smile since it all ended well).

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    1. lol, it did end well. Part of me wanted to let it go and see what happened but common sense prevailed.

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  8. Is she more at-ease on the trails/?

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    1. She is much more relaxed on the trail- especially in the woods. Open spaces cause her more worry.

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  9. <3 love that you have found the laughter!

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    1. yeah me too. And it's not fake or nervous laughter either- it's genuine.

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  10. Winter is not my favorite but sounds like you two are making the best of it :)

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    1. We will try. It's always an adjustment at first.

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  11. Not having a nervous feeling when riding is such a wonderful thing. I love hearing that you're having fun riding. And especially that your rides seem to always end in such a great place!

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    1. It is nice to not be nervous. Not that I don't get frustrated but that's different.

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