|instead of my ride here's a photo of a mare feeling fresh.|
The weather Sunday was glorious- sunny and warm and everything seemed to be sparkling. Carmen was really mellow so I knew it was going to be a good ride. And it was. There was one spot that was causing her concern but nothing too serious.
The focus of the lesson was to get her using her hind end to push and not just drag it along like a cart. (No Carmen, I am not saying that you are a cart horse. Sorry, no need to be offended! Although I will point out that pulling carts is a noble endeavour.....).
I was impressed with how soft she was in the bridle and how she was reaching forward. Which was also hilarious because Shanea's main criticism was that she was too long and loose and not 'up' enough (oh the irony!). Frankly I will take it and was not too worried. I've worked really hard to get her to soften and relax so I am totally okay with her being too far in that direction.
When Carmen would drop her back and disconnect I was to use a 10 metre circle to get her rebalanced and then carry on. That helped and it really helped me to feel the difference between a connected and disconnected Carmen. The difference of her back coming up and her stepping under and her, well, not was striking. I do love working on these technical details: how much rein, leg, seat do I need? I have dug out my spurs again. Not to get forward but Carmen has a habit of coming against my leg and ignoring my request to bend when she needs to look out at something. The little spur helps me to increase the pressure to help her yield. Because I don't need to use so much leg I can stay more balanced and not tighten my seat.
|Carmen's opinion about spurs.....|
We also worked on walk-canter-walk transitions. In the walk to canter I had to make sure she was stepping under and then ask. When I did that I could really feel her whither lift into the transitions. When I didn't do that the transition was flat and on the forehand.
Canter-walk is more tricky for us. Carmen tends to fall through the downward one and lean on my hand. Turns out that this is a little bit of a balance thing and a lot of my fault thing. Turns out that when she drops to trot and leans on the reins I drop them and this causes her to fall. I need to use half-halts and my seat to balance. We had some really really nice transition on the left rein but really struggled on the right. She was getting a bit tired and grumpy about it. We gave her a break and then worked through it. I worked through many transitions focussing on being not-frazzled and just quietly balancing her and not dropping the rein when I finally felt her begin to understand the ask. We finished with a couple nice ones and let it end there.
It was such a fun lesson- working on the small details that we need to have solidified for a good second level test. I'm sure that we both had sore cores after that but it was worth it.
Comparing Facetime to Zoom I have to say that FaceTime worked a lot better. If we need to do another virtual lesson we will use FaceTime. Restrictions are starting to lift so I hope that we won't have to. It's very easy for Shanea to come here and teach and maintain social distance. Fingers crossed that we can do that soon.
I have to show one more photo. After my lesson I gave Carmen a quick hose off and was letting her graze. Irish clearly was enjoying the sunshine.
|I swear he was snoring|