|always time for cookies though|
I am actually okay with this. Which makes me wonder whether this is really me. Typical me would be annoyed at myself and putting pressure to spend time in the saddle. After all we all know that saying 'wet saddle pads make good horses'.
But I don't believe that as much anymore. Like everything else, reality is more nuanced. Especially with a sensitive, reactive horse like Carmen. Instead I'm recognizing that stressed out me does not result in a good training session no matter how wet the saddle pad is at the end (not that we don't work hard).
Last year I was feeling very unsettled because of the whole ulcers ordeal. When she began to feel better it was like we had gone backwards and I had to rebuild. I don't have that this year. We are in a much better place and that makes me feel less urgent.
|Yes, I'm feeling much better but more carrots would|
be really good for me. Just sayin'.
As you know I've been using the Tristan Tucker stuff or a while and it has made a huge difference. I am also a fan of Warwick Schiller and he has this great new series on his youtube channel called The Principles of Training. I have getting a lot out of it. I love that it's on principles rather than a recipe approach.
The one I'm really getting benefit from is his discussion of helping horses find the balance between being too reactive and too quiet. What I got from this is that when Carmen gets to be too 'up' I need to help her get back down. It seems to be helping. When Carmen gets tight and spooky I can ride her through it but getting her to let go of the tension was not happening. Of course I don't want to stop when she's being resistant because that just reinforces her to say 'no'.
|we do the TRT leading exercise a lot. I find it really helps me|
to know where she is and helps her to relax.
For example, today I was riding her on a circle and something spooked her over by the rail. I rode her a few times on the circle asking her to bend. At first she was not having it but once she gave a little I rode her by and then stopped, dropped the reins and let her regroup. Then when I picked up the reins again she was more settled. Giving her time to breathe and let down is helpful.
Our rides are focussed on transitions- coming more from behind and less grabbing the ground with her front legs. The more back she gets the better and less spooky she is. Her shoulder-in and haunches-in are really coming along nicely.
I'm also continuing to play with the itty bitty jumps. She give zero cares about it. I can feel her lock in and go which is nice. It gives us other things to do. We are probably ready to add some more jumps and raise it up a bit now. I'm going really slow with this to build the confidence of both of us.
|we are jumping so high.....|
Also, note the jump coach
It fun to pick up a trot, hop over the little X, turn and do a haunches in down the long side, etc. It keeps us both busy.
Our gains are slow but they feel solid and we're having fun.
That's enough for me.