Who cares about the clouds when we're together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather
~ Dale Evans~
The weather this weekend has been fantastic- instead of cold and windy the sun was actually shining and the winds were quiet. I had arranged for a lesson this morning and it was calm and sunny.
Spoiler alert: the lesson was one of the best we've ever had.
Carmen met me at the gate and practically shoved her head into the halter. I groomed her and took her up to the ring. She was in a lovely and mellow mood. When Shanea came I explained how our rides have been going (well).
The lesson was fantastic not because we were particularly brilliant but that we were actually able to spend the whole time working on things like leg yields, transitions, half-halts, etc. It was the nit-picky focussed lesson that I love (see meant for dressage).
We had a couple spooks (evil birds) but just dealt with it and moved on. My left hand continues to go rogue on a regular basis but this time it wasn't so bad. At least I could tell when I was making her tilt her head and fix it.
Our trot lengthens are coming along- as long as I don't let her get super fast.
|heading into troll corner|
|I need to stop leaning forward.....|
I had been practicing my leg yields and Shanea noted an improvement- especially in my turns down the quarter line. I'm doing much better with turning her off the outside aids and not pull her around by the inside. We struggled a bit turning down by A because she had decided that she needed to keep her eyes on the birds. This required a bit of discussion but finally we got our crap together and did a half decent turn.
|a bit over bent to the inside but not terrible|
As Carmen became tired the head tilt on the right rein came back with a vengeance and I was really struggling to figure out how to fix it. I brought Carmen back to a halt and talked it over with Shanea. One thing I love with Shanea is that she's always willing to stop and regroup (or at least doesn't get annoyed with me when I need to do that). She told me that it was because Carmen was trying to lean on my hands rather than carry herself. Her advice was to straighten the outside shoulder and not hold the inside rein. That really worked and we were able to carry on.
After a walk break it was time to work on canter. And it was some of the best canter work we've ever done. The transitions were easy- up and down. For the first time I was able to consistently do a half-halt in her canter without pissing her off or causing her to break (or both).
I cantered her down the long side and through the corner (despite the evil birds). We turned onto the diagonal and transitioned to trot at X with zero issues. I even was able to get her to lengthen her stride without falling to the inside. We practiced the counter canter loop and it was so good that we ended there.
thanks to Olivia to help me figure out how to make a gif!
I was so thrilled with this ride/lesson that I couldn't stop gushing. In retrospect what made me happiest was how in tune Carmen and I were. It showed me how much potential we have together. I am feeling much more optimistic about my show plans. Even if we crash and burn at a show I know that we can do this.