Sunday dawned cold and rainy. When I arrived at the barn I hitched up the trailer when there was a lull. I have to say that I'm getting way faster at that. Our ride was early but I had a chance to lunge Carmen in the indoor before other rides started. She seemed a lot calmer then the past few days.
When I got on it was clear that she was feeling much more mellow then before. Our walk was nice and slow from the beginning and when she did speed up it was easier to get her to slow down. I needed to work on making sure that my seat bones were weighted evenly. Johanna had us practice leg yields on the circle and I could feel how it helped if my seat was balanced.
Earlier, watching another lesson I heard Johanna say to the rider - "The inside rein is the bending aid, the outside rein is the turning aid' Or something like that. It really resonated with me and I tried to use that in the lesson. I was happy that Johanna didn't have to tell me to get off the inside rein (small victories, ya know).
I was just happy that my horse seemed to be back. She had one spook at the open door but it really wasn't anything and we just moved on.
We did some shoulder in down the long sides of the ring and I could feel the inside hind really start to take the weight and push. It's such a cool feeling.
The last thing we worked on was leg yielding from the centre line to the wall but with slow steps. It was really hard but it paid off in getting her to really use her hind leg.
What's really interesting with Johanna's lessons is that they can seem really really simplified. And they are but then, everything falls into place and it's 'aha'. But the horse is not stressed (the rider might be if they are like me and are trying to control all their bits and be perfect) and ends feeling happy.
In fact there was a word invented at this clinic: 'Horsegasm: the excited outcry of rider who finally understands and when the horse does the thing'.
After our ride I leisurely packed up our stuff and loaded Carmen to head home. I was really happy with how we worked through things and managed to have fun as well.