After my wake up call on Sunday I made sure to spend time with Carmen this week. Friday I lunged her before heading to work.
Saturday I had made arrangements with Julia for her to bring out her younger sister to ride Irish. The weather was bitter! The sun was shining but the wind was high and really really cold. I was half hoping that they would not want to ride in this but they showed up. It's not like I could chicken out, right?
I can always expect that this weather would result in Carmen being really up and spooky. I made sure to lunge her well first. She was pretty good and when I got on she did really well in listening to me.
|me and my dragon breathing smoke|
Sunday was set to be much better for the weather. Which was great because I had booked a lesson! It had been a long time since I had one (Shanea was away) and I was excited. Julia came to ride Irish too and she came early so we go for a hack before the lesson. When we came back to the ring Shanea was up there setting up some trot poles.
We went to work, starting with the walk. The goal was to slow her down and keep her flexed to the inside. Shanea pointed out that I was letting her get away with looking to the outside and not insisting that she bend. Once I became clearer with that I was then able to soften and she began to respond with a softer cue.
The work was simple- forward, soft and bent. I could really feel Carmen's back coming up which made it really easy to feel when it wasn't up. It's hunting season but there is no hunting allowed on Sunday. I was not surprised to hear ATVs in the woods behind our ring. Carmen however was not so sure about it. I would have expected her t have a total melt down but she didn't. She wasn't sure but she tried. Having Irish there helped. I was getting a kick out him- he was definitely showing off for Shanea. I watched him trot down the long side all 'look at me!! Look! Look how good I am!'
|I didn't even know Guinness was behind us! How cute is that?|
We did some leg yield work that was actually quite good- she didn't get all crooked or try to rush/avoid.
|straight, listening ears and crossing over|
I was really happy with our work. It seemed that we were just picking up where we left off. It was time for our canter work. To be honest it's been hit or miss lately but Carmen felt really good for me. We were walking and it felt like the canter was right there. So I asked and she lifted into a beautiul canter.
|I could ride this canter all day|
Often, even when she picks up a nice canter it will fall apart going into the various spooky corners. This time, though, when I put my leg on she went forward. I'm really happy with our canter work here- it's not perfect by a long shot but all the elements are there.
We finished up working on our lengthen trot. It's coming too. It was better in our last lesson but I was still quite happy. I could feel her being light and off the ground rather then dumping herself on the forehand and running. Although that did happen as we got to the end of the diagonal. But it was still good. Note Irish supervising like the grizzled veteran he is.
It felt great to be back in a lesson. I'm finding that I'm getting better at staying upright and not letting my thighs tighten and pop me out of the saddle so much. when It happens I notice it pretty quick and fix it. I find that this is usually a step towards competence.
Shanea told me at the end that she was super impressed with us. I expected her to be more spunky! She said.
So did I, but don't tell her that.