I actually rode three times this week. Which is exciting.
Saturday Julia came out to ride in the morning. The ring was free of ice but a bit hard so we stuck to a walk work out. I've come to love rides with just walking. There is so much to practice: big circles, small circles, changes of bend, shoulder/haunches in, leg yields, half-pass, turn on the haunches, backing up. It allows me to slow everything down and focus on how it feels.
Before I know it, 45 minutes has gone and we're all feeling good.
|from our lesson this week. Practicing square halts|
Today the ring was perfect and so we could walk, trot and canter. The biggest thing I'm finding with Carmen is that she's being very steady. When I watched the videos from the lesson I could really hear how rhythmical she sounded. I'm doing way better at staying focussed and balanced over her and treating her bobbles as just a momentary loss of balance. I'm not fighting her but not giving up on what I want. Usually her right lead canter is a struggle in the spring because of a loss of strength.
Today I did a left canter and she was very balanced and steady. My seat was plugged in with no 'air time'. We cantered all around the ring with zero hesitation or resistance. I brought her across the diagonal and picked up a trot. I brought her to a right circle to balance and strike off a canter but I could feel her ready to go so I just lightened the contact and then gave a light signal. She picked up a perfect rocking right lead canter without throwing in her haunches. We circled and she dropped to trot but that was just a strength/balance issue. I simply brought her back to balance and we picked up it up again. She broke a couple times but we just balanced and struck off. I was so happy- neither of us lost our cool over it.
|breaking up the text wall with a photo of a cat who is up to|
absolutely nothing and why would I suspect her of any ill intent.
Before I knew it 45 minutes had passed. We worked a little more practicing our turn on the haunches. This is our latest area of difficulty. I save it to the end like I do with most new things. I do this because Carmen, instead of resisting, enjoys it because she begins to recognize that this is the end of the work. It worked for her with SI/HI and so I'm sticking with it.
It's good that I'm back to riding more, because February has been a month of eating. It was LobsterCrawl month here and me and my friends made the most of it. I've had lobster 3 times this month and that doesn't even touch what the rest of them have been doing. It's been fun.
|creamed lobster on home made potato chips.|
sounds weird but oh so good
On the weekend Ed and I visited Karen and Jim. Jim cooked an amazing Korean meal - honestly I felt that I needed to be rolled to bed. #noregrets.
Carmen has also wintered really well. She's not as big as last year but still. However, we're both pretty happy. I much prefer a fat and happy Carmen then a thinner less happy/reactive Carmen.