dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Alls Well that Ends Well

After a successful session on Friday, I was really looking forward to Saturday. I didn't have to come to the barn early because Karen looked after feeding her. When I arrived I went to put her outside in a grass paddock to eat and relax until our ride time. I led her out the barn door when she gave a huge spook and splayed her feet. One landed right on my right foot and hurt like a sonofabitch. I yelled and got her off me. I led her back into the barn to do that again. This time she bolted and got away from me. 

You can imagine that a loose horse is a huge nightmare of mine but I kept calm and asked Carmen to 'whoa'. She was unsure and walked off about 10 feet dragging the leadline. I used my deep 'listen to me now' voice and said 'WHOA'. This time she stopped and waited for me to go get her. Honestly, ground work is so very very important. I realized that Carmen was spooking at a pallet of something  covered in white plastic. I guess that she hadn't noticed it on the way in the day before. I let her go and sniff it and we spent some more time on leading. In fact I did a lot of work on this all weekend- she was just so disctracted and forgetting I was there. Sigh. I guess being horny will do that to a girl. 

After I turned her out I took up Stacie's offer of an icepack and ibuprofen.  Fortunately nothing appeared to be bleeding or broken- just really sore and slightly swollen. 
An ice pack, advil and cookies. Must be a horse event. 
Johanna offered to ride Carmen that morning instead of the lesson. Now I could have ridden (my plan was if it got hard to say in a very whiny voice 'I can't my foot huuuurrrts'). However, I thought that was a great chance to have a trainer on my horse working on things so I jumped at the chance. 

I have media of the ride but I'm not posting because it's one thing for me to put myself on the internet, I'm not doing it to someone else. Trust me when I say that it was a great session for both of us. I got to see how Johanna helped Carmen work through her tightness and issues and Carmen benefited from having a training ride from a classical dressage trainer. It was interesting to watch Carmen's demeanour change from defensive and suspicious (stranger danger is real) to softness and understanding. 

After we ate a hearty lunch and did a tack shop run. Then when the lessons were over Karen tacked up Kalimo for Johanna and I tacked up Carmen to go and play in the Working Equitation course that Stacie had set up. I had lunged Carmen in part of the ring earlier and she didn't care about any of the things. It was the same when being ridden. 

Last year Carmen was a hot, spooky mess in the outdoor. This time she was happy as a clam. It was so much fun to play with the various obstacles. 
Playground  Working Equitatoin course all set up. 

Bridges are not a problem for us. We even trotted over it once. 
Trip-trap over the bridge. No trolls in sight. 
I haven't had a chance to play with the clover pattern around barrels so I have no idea if I did it right. What a great way to practice bending aids and changes of bend. 
Carmen: are we barrel racers now? 
The bull, which you would expect to be spooky was no big deal. She marched rigt up and knocked the ball out of the ring (Stacie had tied it so it wouldn't fall on the ground or blow away). I wanted to get a photo and the second time she was all 'I did this already. Pick something else'. But after a bit she decided to humour me and go with it.
We laugh in the face of danger.
Well, I giggle like a 12 year old and Carmen  tolerates my hijinks. 
The gate was interesting. Picking up the rope and going through was no issue. When I asked her to back up she hit the standard and became convinced I was being stupid. We finally figured it out but it will take more practice.
Carmen: are you sure you know what you're doing? 
There were two blue barrels to do a figure 8 around. At first we walked, then trotted them then finally cantered them. I struggled with keeping the barrel in the center when we cantered but honestly I didn't care- I was so thrilled at our soft and easy going canter.
look at us cantering outside with no fence and no worries.
I also think our match game was on point.... 
I tried the side pass over the pole a few times but it was clear that she was confused so I left it and decided to work at it at home in hand for a bit.  At one point she saw Kalimo a bit ahead and was all 'ooh let's go talk to the cute boy'.  I told her that there would be no dating on this trip, thankyouverymuch.

I am convinced that she loves this stuff. I know I do- but she was no longer cranky or balky. I need to do more of this with her. I can get a bit fixated on one thing but clearly that does not work for her. I also need to put the fun back into riding for me too.

Look at that cheesy grin. My inner 12 year old was very happy.
Note that Carmen has one ear on the handsome stallion in the right corner


26 comments:

  1. Sounds like Carmen likes to play on playgrounds. Having a foot smashed by one of those splay-legged spooks is one of my buggaboos. Every time I lead a spooky horse, I'm slightly on edge about it happening. But I'd rather lead a horse next to me than behind me, because if something takes the horse by surprise from behind, I'll be roadkill. One time Gabbrielle spooked right up over Rock's hind end while I was riding him. She'll plow down anything in her path.

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    1. I think she does too. Normally she is very respectful of my space and hasn’t tried to pull away in over a year. So I’m hoping it’s an aberration but will be working on it anyway.

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  2. I'm glad the cloud (getting stomped on) had such a nice silver lining (watching a productive trainer ride)! And the WE course 😍 I'm glad both you and Carmen enjoyed yourself!

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    1. So much silver lining I could barely see a cloud 😀

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  3. oooooh i love that WE course - that looks like so much fun!!!! bummer about your foot (charlie spook-splayed directly on top of my foot a while back and i actually thought i might die - so i feel your pain!) but that's awesome that you were able to get a training ride out of the deal. seems like all in all a super successful weekend!!

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    1. I’m pretty that you guys would enjoy it. I HATE having my foot stepped on.

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  4. Sounds & looks like a blast! I think you two need your own playground! I've done the clover pattern in cart at classes. Even at a trot once I got the hang of it.

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  5. Carmen looks so happy on the course. Adding more relaxing fun play days may make a big difference in her attention levelnon the hard working days.

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  6. Sorry to hear about your foot but really glad that you guys had fun and another productive lesson!

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  7. I think she would love more trail work. They get to put everything together and see the purpose. She’s so smart, you could probably do ranch work competitions with her. Btw, Leah hates the rope gate. She’ll open all the real metal gates, but she seems to think the rope gates are hot wire. 😱

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    1. I am positive that she would love more trail work.

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  8. Sorry about your foot, I know how that feels. Carmen looks like she’s having fun on the playground. I like doing different things like that, I think it helps them to pay attention and be less bored with working.

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    1. doing different things is a lot of fun.

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  9. weee! Bummer about the foot, but it all worked out well! And I agree on doing more of this type of work.

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    1. I need to spend this summer mixing things up for her.

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  10. YeeeOUCH on the foot! But very cool to get to see Carmen's evolution during her ride with someone else aboard.

    The WE stuff looks SUPER fun. I'd have been giggling, too.

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    1. I can totally see you doing it with your ponies.

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  11. Sorry about your foot, I literally feel your pain because that happened to me a few weeks ago! I love how happy both of you look on the obstacle course :)

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    1. My foot recovered pretty quickly - I was lucky. It was a lot of fun.

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  12. The drum pattern:
    2
    3 1

    You turn around the right drum (1) until you are between drum one and two, change of bend/lead at that spot between the barrels, then a three quarter circle around drum 2 (left lead). Between 2 and 3 a change of bend/lead until you’ve completed an entire circle and then exit between 2 and 3.

    The circles should be geometric and similar in size, but not centered around the drum.

    The same thing with the figure 8. Start with the right barrel, make the circles similar in size and round but not centered (that would make the circles very tight) on the barrel. Change of lead/bend should happen between the barrels.

    WE is such an awesome application of dressage principals. And so great for thinking horses.

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  13. I'm glad that your foot is okay - I had a horse land on mine a week ago and I'm still spending half my time in a boot. -_-

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    1. ouch! It sounds like you were really nailed.

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