|this is from last week- the trees are now leafing out nicely
It was not okay. Carmen was being driven mad by the biting, swarming little demons. And frankly so was I. I lunged her to see if that helped. Finally I looked at her, she was trying very very hard but was barely keeping it together. I decided that it just wasn't worth it. It felt more like torture and I couldn't see what value we would gain. So I cancelled. Shanea was very understanding. We decided that, until the flies calmed down, we'd have to ride in mornings.
|the old apple tree at the edge of the field is in bloom. the smell is heavenly.
Friday we did groundwork. I realized that it had been a while since I had done a session of just groundwork. When I was done, I slipped her halter and let her graze while I sat in the ring enjoying the warmth. Saturday I awoke with a massive headache. Fortunately the weather was dreary and drizzly so I spent the day in idleness, doing a few chores and reading.
|Irish amuses me- he's been coming with his flymask askew. What
really makes me laugh is that he has his left ear in the right ear cover.
Not even sure how he did it.
Sunday morning Julia wanted to ride early after her night shift. That worked for me and my head was 100% better. I wanted to try on her new fly bonnet I bought to match my black and blue saddle pad. It was made by Fun Bonnets. I had order from her in the past and really like her work. She did not disappoint.
When I mounted and we walked off from the mounting block Carmen began to pin her ears and hump a bit. I was surprised because she just doesn't do that. I gave her rein and let her walk. She kept her ears pinned and shook her head. I stopped her and did some thinking. I wasn't sure what was going on but decided to head into the woods to see if she improved. Which she did. Our hack was lovely.
Back in the ring I found her to be forward and responsive. In fact, I found her to be a bit 'noodley'- which was better than being hard sided and stiff. Despite our start she was actually stretching out over the back and really reaching for the bit.
|random photo of Ripley trying to get her stick into her pool
We worked on straightness and her adjustability. To the left is was easier to get her forward and back in the gait. On the right rein she wasn't so adjustable so we practiced with trot-walk-trot, gradually shortening the walk steps until it was trot-almost walk- trot forward.
I know that Carmen's saddle needs to be adjusted (soon) and the saddle pad I used was thinner than the one I had been using. I wonder if she was feeling the difference and, at first, not liking it but then discovering it was more comfortable. Or she was being stung by something. I don't know.
What I do know is that we had a ride without any fights or blowups. We finished the ride in a happy place and that has been my goal. The sun came out during our ride and the day ended up being a beautiful summery day. I spent the whole day outside enjoying the warmth. When you live in Canada you really appreciate it when things warm up. Even with the bugs.
|and doesn't she look pretty in her bonnet?