I did more inhand work with Carmen. She's continuing to get worked up about side passing over the pole. I am not sure why it makes the hamster fall of the wheel in her brain so I am foregoing riding it and just keeping it low key on the ground. That seems to work for her when I can stretch things like this out over time. And I am not in any sort of hurry for it anyway.
It was interesting trying to get her to not rush her walk with Irish in the ring so that was excellent practice to keep me focussed. I can feel how much it brings her back to me when I insist that she slow down. If she wants to catch up she can take bigger strides, not faster ones.
I am starting to love that center pole arrangement I made in the ring- it's just so versatile.
|angles are a bit different in real life|
Once going across the short diagonal at a trot Carmen leaped over and scurried off. Clearly I needed to add a half-halt in there so we repeated it and it was perfect. I can feel her lift her back and carry herself which is beneficial to building her topline.
Carmen, while not enthused to come out at first, grew to enjoy or work more and more. It's not like our work was perfect and we had a few bobbles but I could feel her really trying for me and that makes life so much easier and riding so much more fun. I am not against insisting on things but I really prefer it when things are not one battle after another.
Our cantering is really improving by leaps and bounds (ha ha- get it?) and she's doing much better mentally about cantering into and through corners. Or I'm sitting up better or whatever. I'll take it.
|this is so much fun to ride|
The weather was quite warm and the bugs were becoming bad. That may have helped in keeping her motivated to keep going. It certainly worked with me. Irish was also looking really good as well.
I decided to do a run through of First Level Test 1 so see if a)if I really did have it memorized and b) how it rode. There are some different diagonals in this test compared to the last time I rode it (years ago). I rode it all the way through like I would at a show. I have practiced pieces of it but haven't put it all togehter yet. It rode really well and Carmen tried her little heart out for me. We missed our first canter depart - she picked up the wrong lead. I think it was because she wasn't sure about the corner and I wasn't clear in my aids. I simply brought her back and corrected it and carried on like I would in a test. She is clearly getting the idea of lengthens and it starting to anticipate. Which is both a positive and a negative. However, she is so much more adjustable in her striding. I was thrilled with our stretchy trot. She really stretched out over her back. I just need to keep the speed slower - it gets faster as we go on the circle.
After doing that I was happy to give her a pat and a break. I walked over and dropped the gate. She started to get a bit fussed about rushing it but I simply laughed at her and asked her to slow down and she did. Honestly- this mare feeds off people getting frustated but if you laugh at her she immediately relaxes. We headed out to do a quick hack in the woods. Carmen led for part and Irish for the other part. Even when we spooked a couple rabbits in the brush she simply startled in place and kept going. Carmen did want to get Irish to canter up the hill to 'home' but we all kept her in line.
Both horses required a hose off because of the humidity but no one was out of breath.
I love that the rides are becoming the escape rather than a chore.