Which it sorta was. Foggy and misty is fine, right? My farrier also called the night before and said he wanted to come in the morning to do the horses. Which meant that my morning got a whole lot busier.
Before 11 I took Carmen up to the ring to do some lunging and other ground work. I also let her graze in the 'spooky areas'. When Shanea arrived I explained my idea of having me walk beside her and do what I do from the ground if Carmen acted up. She thought that it was a good idea. I am not sure if it worked or not. Carmen was much better over all so maybe it helped?
Anyway, Shanea mounted and asked Carmen to walk off and do some small circles. Suddenly she hopped off. "I'm not happy with how's she feeling, I want to start over."
I could definitely see Carmen's tension and how she was being over-reactive but I wasn't sure what her plan was. It turned out that her plan was to walk Carmen back to the mounting block and ask her to relax and get back on. She repeated this two more times when I saw Carmen give a big sigh at the mounting block and release the tension. I never would have thought of that.
The goal was to have Carmen go forward in a relaxed manner- accepting the contact without chomping. It was interesting to watch the process. You can really see when she's tight in her neck and back. Even her lips are tight and curled back from her teeth. I saw it come and go and finally it was just gone. Carmen's stride became swinging and her ears went floppy.
Do you ever watch someone ride your horse and think damn, that horse is stunning? I could see how well Carmen can move. Shanea started playing with her lengthens and, holy crap, that mare can stride out when she's being ridden but a really good rider.
Shanea just asked for a few strides and then patted Carmen.
What I didn't see was an unhappy horse. I didn't see a mare who hated dressage or was sore. I saw a sensitive mare being ridden with tact and finesse and enjoying what she was doing.
Then it was my turn to get on. I could feel a difference in her right away. She back felt so mobile and I had to really focus on moving with her. Carmen was forward and felt powerful. When I look at the videos of my ride I can see that I'm not terrible but I need to really loosen my shoulders and stop riding so defensively. I think I might have been putting too much pressure on her. Even though I didn't intend to I might have been pushing her more then she was comfortable. I need to find a happy medium.
I think I need to a centred riding lesson. I need to work on myself. I'm not going to a place of self-hatred but more of self-realization. Carmen has a ton of talent and I need to buckle down myself to ride her.
And in today's cute video here's one of Guinness. When I drag the ring he 'heel's beside the tractor until I stop. Then he gives me his toy so I can throw it.