|They are pretty|
|this is pretty much how I pictured it going down|
But first let me back up a bit
(cheap ploy to build dramatic tension but also to put in context).
December has been warmer than usual and Thursday was beautiful. When I got hoe from work the sun was shining and it was lovely. I should note that by 'lovely' in Canada I mean about 10 degrees and no wind. If you are dressed properly it's perfect riding weather. I quickly tacked up Carmen and we headed to the ring.
I had one of those wonderful rides where everything is smooth and easy. Carmen was relaxed and forward. She looked at a few things but nothing else. I am getting so impressed with our canter-it's so much straighter and our transitions up and down have improved so much. I put her away feeling really happy with our ride.
Friday was also lovely. However, that morning there was a large machine coming down the road cutting the brush in the ditch. They were cutting just along the edge of the property (which is too bad because I have lost my privacy hedge).
|not actual machine but very close|
Still, it must have unsettled her enough because she was completely different. She was spooky and bolty. I put on my big girl pants and rode through it all. There ware a couple times when she flatly refused to go into troll corner and I flatly refused to accept that. When she started to back up I gave her a smack and got her forward. It wasn't a battle the whole time. I was able to practice some walk-canter-walk transitions, shoulder-in/haunches-in etc. In the end we were practicing our lengthened trot across the diagonals into the corners. I could really feel her understand about lengthening her frame, not speeding her pace. I did a few free walks into the corners as well without any issue.
So I decided to drop the gate and head out for a small walk in the woods. It would be our first in about a month (hunting season). Carmen was impatient and fidgety at the gate but walked happily enough to the right and around the field. I was prepared to hop off if things got confrontational but she seemed happy enough to stride out.
Just as we were coming along the woods and towards the path that goes into the trails the grouse flew up.
Carmen threw up her head and leapt forward about 4 strides. She came right back, let out a big sigh and carried on.
In the woods she was a bit uncertain going through a stream - we've had a lot of rain and the dry stream bed was running. I let her stop and consider the question.
Carmen: I am not sure it's safe
Me: It's just water moving. It will be fine.
Carmen: But we might get swept away.
Me: It's only a couple inches deep. Trust me.
And she did. I put my leg on softly and she stepped forward and in. While she didn't freak out she did walk briskly and breathed out when she stepped out. We did the trail and came out by the manure pile. We had to stop and consider the old trailer and shovels. Walking up the hill to the barn I asked her to lower her head and stretch out over her back and she did
While I would have liked a less dramatic schooling session in the ring I was happy with how things all worked out.
|I'm pretty sure I heard you cutting up apple pieces.|
(if you want to see a fabulous drawing of a pheasant and horse meeting go hereEmily Cole's illustrations)