dancing horses

dancing horses

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Inner Peace

Way back in the day Carmen was very very spooky when she was in heat. Now I find that she's a bit grumpy, tight and not so forward.
horses are in their happy place- the back field

 Old me would have gotten after her to be forward.

New me works with how she feels and focus on getting her to stretch and soften before I ask for forward. This can mean a longer warm up.

And I don't even care.

I was listening to a Jane Pike podcast on trusting your intuition when riding. I really enjoyed this one (truthfully I enjoy most of them) because it was about giving yourself permission to explore what would work with your horse and be okay with making mistakes.

My inner dressage diva is slightly horrified.

But my inner horseperson is fist pumping and yelling wahoo.


We are having much fewer arguments these days. Not that we are having none. I am not afraid to draw a line but I'm not flustered as easily and I simply fix and go back to work. 

Don't get me wrong, I am definitely taking my lessons and listening to Shanea. 

But I'm giving myself permission to play with her and see what helps. 

Ed is making a chicken coop. Exciting times on the farm. 

Fun fact- since that time Carmen tried to bolt and I said 'cool, let's go' she hasn't bolted since. I feel her thinking about it and then, is like, nope, screw it. 

random photo of the little grass snake I found on my walk. 

This week Carmen is having the heat from hell. If you touch her flank she gives the high pitched squeal and pins her ears. Despite this  I decided to ride after work. It was a bit breezy but lovely. Carmen was quite up in the barn so I figured I would lunge and see what happened. She was definitely tight and even gave a big scoot during the ground work. However, she was trying really hard and I decided to mount. 

We went on to have a 25 minute ride at just the walk. I wanted to play with what she needed to respond to the lightest of aids for transitions, SI/HI, leg yields etc. I quite like walk rides. It is very similar to yoga- I am asking her to stretch and bend and use her core but slowly. 

We did the whole ride with only a few jumps from Carmen. By the end she was soft and supple and really relaxed. I hopped off quite happy with this mini ride. Carmen is much more willing to listen to me and rely on me to give her good information. 

I started on this journey with Carmen with my destination, route and plan all mapped out. We have taken a lot of side rides, ended up in a ditch (figuratively) and I've almost quit a dozen times. And I still don't know where we're going. Not really. But at least now I know we're both going in the same direction and that is something. 

coming to say hi



23 comments:

  1. Bravo! I’m sure I saw Carmen fist pumping as well. :)

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    1. LOL, that's her waving her hoof to get me to hurry up with dinner....

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  2. "permission to play" -- i love it! something i need to remind myself of too, esp when i get caught up in being too "by the book"....

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    1. Yeah, me too. It's kind of fun to stop and think about what might work in the moment. Of course it usually is 'more leg' but with Carmen it's 'more leg, but diplomatically'. :D

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  3. AWESOME! You two are in a really beautiful place.

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  4. I think it is especially important to give yourself room to play with things with a smart, sensitive mare. The may not hold a grudge per se, but they certainly remember when something wasn't right or was painful for them and react the next time anticipating the same.

    You guys have come so far in your relationship this year it amazes me

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    1. You are right- Carmen forgets NOTHING. You and Eeyore have been an inspiration as well.

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  5. It's been really great to watch your relationship grow and evolve over the years. While I really love dressage, I always want to be a horseperson first, so I like the concept of that podcast encouraging you to trust your intuition, explore, and not be afraid to make mistakes! :)

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    1. Yes, before I didnt' even really understand the difference between 'rider' and horseperson'.

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  6. I really appreciate how hard you work to figure out exactly what works for Carmen. Not just relying on what has worked on other horses. You two are really working together, and it's paying off!

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    1. Yes I work hard, but lately I'm cutting myself some slack as well.

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  7. I love your thought process. Carmen has come along so beautifully with you.

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  8. Karen Rohlf of Dressage Naturally has a saying,"Precision arrives out of the possibilities play creates." Sounds like things are working well.

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    1. That's an interesting quote. I like it.

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  9. You and Carmen have so much more trust now, in each other.

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  10. It's tough to find that happy medium between our destination and the reality of the circumstances on the ground, a very unique, creative process--a give and take. Mares are curious creatures--and Carmen is a passionate one. Sounds like you are on the right path with your intution.

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    1. Even if I don't end up meeting my aspirations in terms of dressage we're in a much better place in our relationship and I prefer that.

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  11. I love this and have loved following yalls journey. With all horses, but especially mares, this is the way. My Cheetah has been having terrible awful cycles this spring and has not been in the best moods. I ordered her some raspberry leaves to try. Have you ever tried this?

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    1. I haven't tried raspberry leaves but I do use chaste tree berries and have noticed a positive result.

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