One thing that really resonated me was the concept of the 'next good step' (disclaimer: I am not teaching you Jane's concepts. I am telling you how I applied what I learned to my riding with Carmen). The idea is to focus on the next good step and not worry about all the things.
|the look I get when I take forever to get to the point.|
Or when I'm dancing while doing barn chores.
I realized that I'm getting overly dependent on having a riding buddy when I ride Carmen. It's easier- she's more relaxed with Irish in the ring and I feel like things go better. Which is all fine but I can't always have a buddy in the ring and I need to figure this out. Julia was unable to come today and I found myself creating all sorts of reasons to not ride. We had a vicious windstorm the day before and it was still windy and cold.
I am okay with not riding if I don't feel like it but it felt more like chickening out then taking a break. I recognize that this worry is probably my lizard brain remembering all the disastrous rides we've had in the past. But still.
So I put on my riding pants (or big girl pants if you will) and decided to tackle this thing one step at a time. My goal was to go one step at a time and see how things were. Before I would be all worried about all the things we should be working on which made me put too much pressure on both of us.
I headed out to the barn and Carmen nickered to me. She was likely hungry but still it warmed my little heart. She came in quietly and stood easily while I groomed her and tacked up.
We headed up to the ring and we started with our leading exercise. I expected her to be tense and tight but she was not. We had moments of tension followed by her looking to relax. I We went through our groundwork and I kept checking for tension, holes in her attention and explosiveness. But there was none.
I took off her rope halter, adjusted the stirrups and headed to the mounting block. Carmen lined herself up and I mounted. She stood, waiting for me. We've been doing this - I wait for her to relax and then I pick up the reins and off we go. I keep my rein contact light and we walk off. My goal is ensure my seat is relaxed and following. When she tightens I stay calm and only shorten the rein if she feels like she will take off.
We did a short ride and she was fine. We went down the long side and a leaf suddenly
blew into the ring attacked causing her to deke left, then right back to the rail and we carried on. And that was the most exciting thing to happen. The rest of it was just a ride.
|looking for zombie leaves|