dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Small Adjustments

It's been a good week with Carmen.

Easing things back has helped us to get back on track. It's been really humid which helps to take the starch out of her. I've been keeping our sessions short and really trying to reward the try. I know that Carmen does not respond well to lots of pressure and I might have been pushing her a bit. I ignore the little spooks (not new) but whenever she did a big spin/bolt I would put my leg on and ride it forward until I got her back and then returned to what we were doing.

I even hacked her out solo twice and it was great. The second time I let her choose our paths and she just kept going and going.

I had Rachael out to check her saddle. Carmen's topline has developed more and required the flocking to be adjusted. It felt much better after so I was glad that I had it done.

Today I had a lesson booked and I wanted to help Carmen figure out the lengthens. She goes faster rather than lengthen her frame. I know that she thinks she's doing what I want and I needed some help  showing her what we were looking for.

At the beginning of the lesson Carmen started off slow and sluggish. Which was kind of good- I've been working on not letting her start off tight and speedy. However, slow and behind  the leg or fast and behind the leg is still behind the leg.
trying to get her to reach forward

 I remember joking to Shanea- where are those birds when I need them? We did lots of trotting and bending to help her to be supple. The humidity had broken but the sun was still warm and it really was beginning to feel like work. We came across the diagonal and she was starting to stretch into the bridle when she gave this big prop and ran sideways. It caught be totally off-guard but I sat up, put on my legs and got her going forward in the circle. I wanted to use her energy to make her go not to be evasive. After 3-4 canter circles, I brought her back to trot and then headed back to complete the diagonal. This was a total evasive spook not a genuine one and I have to make sure that those are never successful.

While we were working through this, Shanea was setting up poles spaced five feet apart across the diagonal. The exercise was to come out of the corner and ask her to go forward into a lighten. The poles were to help her stretch not speed up. The first few times were not so great- she would raise her head and drop her back and then trip. Shanea explained that I needed to let her head out to look and keep my legs on to encourage her to go forward even before and after the poles.

approaching the poles
you can see her trying to figure out what the heck to do with them so far apart

I could feel her start to figure it out. I gave her a break every time she really tried. And I was happy with how she did. 

I love her reach here. She could definitely stretch her neck but it will come 
I was really happy with her try. I love her steady tempo in the video

I wanted to work on some counter canter as well. I needed Shanea's advice as to whether we were ready to tackle First Level 3. I picked up the left lead canter and after a circle tried the loop. It was no big deal. to the right the first time she became confused at the middle  and wanted to do a flying change and then broke to trot. Totally my fault because I had my thighs too tight. The next few times were fine. I then asked her for the canter lengthen and holy crap- it was unbelievable. I could barely ride it. It was a great way to end it. So at our last show we will be trying First Level 2 & 3.

It's funny but I  can always tell if Carmen was pleased with herself after the ride by her manner in the barn. She always looks cute and perky like I was good wasn't I? I should get lots of carrots. 

Are these enough? 


  1. It must be such a good feeling for you to learn how to show her what you want and then for her to understand it and respond. Well, a good feeling for both of you.

  2. Yay! All the carrots for Carmen! And perhaps some wine for you?!

  3. Oooh those carrots look wonderful haha, Charlie would like ten plz ;) nice exercise with the poles too. Seems like that was very helpful for showing her how to extend more

    1. It was a great crop this year from the garden. We planted them again and I hope they grow before the frost comes.
      The pole exercise was really helpful.

  4. When a horse comes off something, whether that is a cross country run or a dressage school, and looks so proud of themselves...thats my favorite part of all.


Thank you for leaving a comment. I love the feedback.