dancing horses

dancing horses

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Sunny Days

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). 

 After a walk warm up we picked up a trot. As always the first trot totally sucked but after we got her going her trot was lovely. I love riding her when she's like this- her back is up, she's soft in the bridle and just so adjustable.

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 am sure that we will get the comment 'needs more' but I'm okay with where we are right now- she's figuring out to lengthen her frame and reach and that's all we need right now.

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 we worked I could feel the leg yields becoming smoother and cleaner. When this horse is mentally with me,  riding her is easy. She is just so adjustable and smooth. Carmen got lots of walk breaks and praise and she lapped it all up.  Once we got our leg yield sorted it literally became point and shoot.

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. 
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21 comments:

  1. Glad you are having some good rides!

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    1. We really are. It's making me very very happy.

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  2. There is magic in good rides--anything is possible and progress is real. :) sounds wonderful!

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    1. You got it- It really does feel magical.

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  3. You guys look great. She really looks like she's on the bit and working with you. Weird aside, but since we're property shopping, I have footing on my mind. Your arena looks like you are a professional dragger! Such pretty lines. I use EZGif.com for gifs. You just upload the video and then you can crop and trim whatever you want.

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    1. THANK YOU! That worked so well. :)

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  4. Rides like this are addicting. You both look great and the progress from last year is obvious.

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    1. I think I am addicted. Thank you for your kind words about our progress.

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  5. what great pictures! so awesome to hear that things are going so well lately - i can't wait to see how things continue to unfold for you!

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    1. I am sure that there will still be some challenges but I'm feeling like we really are picking up momentum.

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  6. What a lovely, floaty canter. 😍

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    1. It's so light and floaty that it doesn't feel real.

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  7. Isn't it kind of amazing when the horse sudden matures under you and you look up and all the things you were struggling with are now smoother, flowier, better?

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    1. It is amazing. I would say it happened by magic if I hadn't been there putting in all the work.....

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  8. I hope after a few solid years of dedicated work (which is not my strong suit, clearly, lol), Cinna can look like this 😍 you guys have come so far! What a terrific partnerhship you've built, and Carmen is such a lovely horse.

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    1. Cinna is beautiful and is maturing nicely. I am really enjoying our partnership.

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  9. Just great! Love the canter. It's such a nice feeling when it all comes together.

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  10. This is so so awesome! What an incredible lesson. I love that nit-picky stuff, too, and can understand how great it is to get to work on all of that as a team without other things going on to interrupt the progress. So freaking happy for you, lady!

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  11. I’m so excited for your progress!! What a great lesson!

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