You may be surprised to learn that I don't just torture Carmen with bad jokes, I also torture her with lessons!
I am behind in my recaps because, well, like many, I am just tired. But this blog is to record my progress and I don't want to fall off the writing wagon.
I have to to say that this year I have been my most consistent in taking lessons. Shanea has a good size of people so she's able to travel her regularly. This has not always been the case and she needs a certain number for it to be worth it. So, even though Carmen and I are her favourites, we haven't always been able to lesson (small joke for my other friends who take lessons. Besides who wouldn't love Ms. Dramatic Mare Crankypants?). With the pandemic heaven know we've not been going far which helps as well.
This has made for some great consistent schooling and it's paying off in many ways.
Both lessons were a week apart. In between Lesson 1 & 2 I didn't get much schooling done- the weather and work conspired against me. But that's okay, it's real life and I fret about this much less.
|square halt anyone?|
Lesson # 1
The focus of this lesson was on going forward and adjusting her stride. I feel that Carmen is really starting to get it. We had some issues with various parts of the ring but I didn't feed into that cycle, which allowed us to deal with the moment and then carry on. So yay me.
Carmen is very good at the collected work because of her breeding and conformation. She is absolutely able to lengthen but finds it harder. Honestly part of the problem is me- I tend to shut her down from our history of bolting. The other part is her- she'd prefer to dump her forehand on the bit and go like a snowplow.
The goal has been for me to be very light in my hands but not give her all the freedom to run around where she wants. This is tricky but it's been a good learning experience. We cantered early in the lesson to get that going and then worked on some canter-walk-canter transitions. They were actually pretty good (for us). Looking back through old videos I can definitely see changes.
Trot lengthens are really hard for us- she tends to speed up and/or dumps on the forehand. The goal was to have her lift up through the withers and go. Shanea had us trot-halt and then trot off into a big trot.
At first it was a bit of shitshow.
|okay, looking at this I realize it doesn't look as bad |
as it looks but she was bulging away
and being stiff going towards a very scary rock
But then she began to gather herself and I could feel her lift up and through. We'd lose it after a few strides but then, it was like the penny dropped for both of us and whee. I loved this feeling- it was like riding a wave into shore.
Here's a video of the last one: