This time was going to be special because my two amazing friends, Paula and Karen, were also coming. I was looking forward to getting some insight into Carmen and what was going on. I was also worried that her behaviour would be off the charts. But I figured that it would be a great time to get their help.
The format of this clinic is pretty straightforward. We all meet early Saturday morning and talk about our horses and our goals. Then we are broken into the two groups. In the morning we all do groundwork. In the afternoon we practice the obstacles in hand and ride if we're ready. Sunday is a mix of in-hand and riding over the obstacles. Everyone gets attention from either Mike or Nikki. I have to say that it's totally worth the money. Not that it's expensive- it's not. Lunch is also provided.
Friday night I wanted to ride. I was a bit worried because the ring can be quite spooky. The far end is covered with a tarp and there is plastic covering windows that also have holes in them. Karen helped me and Carmen to stay on task but I was really tense which was not helping. I have to say that my self-confidence was at a low ebb.
|Saturday morning and Carmen was feeling pretty|
Mike drew a rectangle about 8-10 feet away from each of us. The goal was to move the horse to that rectangle and have them stand there. Easy enough when you can lead the horse there. But we weren't allowed to change our position. It really made you focus on what you were asking and adjust the cues. It took a few minutes but then TA-DAH!
|look at her- like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth|
(also you can see what I mean about the far end being a spooky place)
And that was how she was all weekend. Not a hoof out of place. No big explosions, no bolting, no balking.
|Standing in the water box:|
Carmen: my toes are getting wet and this water is dirty
Me: just stand here, K?
Mike: are you sure that this is the mare you described?
|celebrating a good day's work on Saturday.|
Here's a video of us riding part of the pattern.
I also think that perhaps my intention is not always clear.
Armed with this knowledge I feel that I can move forward. It's always a worry when you think you are making horse work when they are in pain. Now that that is off the list I can move ahead. I'm also on 2 weeks vacation so I can take as much time as it takes to work through our stuff.