dancing horses

dancing horses

Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Like I mentioned in my last post I had a lesson booked for Friday. When Shanea arrived I confessed to my recent funk and that I hadn't been riding but that I had been doing other things. She shared that she had heard that confession from many of her students this week so maybe it's not just me.  Anyway, I told her that i realized I needed some pushing to get out of my comfort zone and I asked her to do that. It was (of course) a much longer conversation than that but to make it short, she rubbed her hands together gleefully and said 'All righty then'. 

And push me she did. Carmen was feeling quite hot and wanting to lean on the bridle. It's a hard thing to fix because too much rein and she bolts, too much hold and she leans and carts me around. However, I do have some tools from my Better Balance Clinic (and past lessons based on Centered riding). I realize that I need faith in myself that I can ride out the shit and not freeze. 

How Shanea see our lessons (probably)

Shanea's goal was to keep her hind leg under and not have her all strung out - that's when she gets away (which is also what Carmen told me). So, to a certain extent, there as a bit of hold the rein and boot her hind leg back under. Not as bad as you might think- just making it clear that her legs needed to be under me, not waving around out behind.  

Pictured her: Carmen leaning on the bit and
shoving her legs out behind

It's no surprise the Carmen is a hot horse. Her sire was known for being hot and her full sister is also quite similar (we met via FB last  year I think). Sometimes her hotness becomes a bit too much for me - and I think for her as well. But she is who she is.  I need to ride it and figure out what she needs. Shanea likes a lot of going straight and forward into contact. I like to do circles when we lose it but then I can see her point that I'm avoiding the going straight. So we compromise. Which means I try to go straight and she ignores the occasional circle I throw in. 

That said, most of this lesson was on the circle to help her bend and push with her inside leg. I could definitely feel when her hind legs were under me. 

Better with her body. I let the reins get long and then my hands were
all like 'omg, we're going to die let me crawl under your chin'. 

All told it was a good lesson. I used a lot of the breathe/ground/grow and that kept my seat pretty solid in the saddle. There were some really good moments and by the end of the lesson she was pretty much over the concept of running away from the leaves. 
so much better here- and the rein is loose because I'm trying to get her
to stretch that Andalusian neck out and unlock herself. 

I realized that I can push myself and her and not end up in a train wreck. The next day I rode early and she was really good. I wish I had a lesson then because it felt like we could have really built on the day before but c'est la vie.  Sunday she was in between Friday and Saturday's mood but it was still a good ride. I set up some  puzzles in the ring to play with: trot poles with every other one elevated, a gate, some cones for bending etc. 

Saturday morning was beautiful 

Monday I decided to not ride and head to Zumba class instead. It was my first time since the pandemic started (they've only been going in person a little while). It was a lot of fun and she one of my favourite songs by Lizzo - Juice. It was fun to get back to it. 

Tuesday Carmen was lit. I had to dismount and work her hard on the ground. Then I got back on and worked her more. I was pretty clear about my line and it did work.  We were both sweating but Carmen was using her hind end and not bracing so I counted it as a win. 

Tomorrow Ed and I head out for a couple days of vacation and I'm really looking forward to it.  Maybe Carmen is too.  Joanne will be babysitting and the animals all enjoy being spoiled. 
Joanne with her grandson and Irish. 
Irish is the sweetest horse on the planet, I swear. 


  1. Carmen seems like she is always going to be an interesting horse to ride. But one day I bet she just mellows out and you'll wonder where her alter ego went. In the meantime it makes you a better rider.

    Enjoy your vacation! And Irish is a sweetheart.

  2. Irish looks so sweet there. Have a fun vacation.

  3. that last pic of you and Carmen is gorgeous <3 <3

  4. Look at that hind leg reaching under!


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