My rides on Carmen since our lessons last week have been really good. I've been pleased with how we're both behaving. I was looking forward to a lesson I had booked for Wednesday. Julia also was available to ride so we started early and warmed up by hacking in the woods.
Carmen was really on the aids marching forward. Shanea said that our lesson was going to focus on straightness. It seems a bit ridiculous that this is still a struggle for us but honestly, it has more to do with Carmen's mental focus than anything. She really wants to look out of the ring and put her weight on her inside shoulder. I try to compensate by getting her bent to the inside which gets me hanging on the inside rein and, funnily enough, that makes her more crooked. Go figure.
It's worse on the right rein so Shanea had me think about counter-bending and keeping her haunches to the rail.
When Shanea rode Carmen last week she said that she had noticed a big change in her willingness to listen to the rider. Instead of defaulting to 'no' she tries to find the answer. When Carmen is more straight and balanced she's also more confident and forward.
Our warm up trot was slow but steady. I don't worry about her neck stretching to contact but I do try to give her the room to do it.
her neck is short here but I like how she's carrying herself
As we moved into trot I realized that I had worn the wrong breeches. These are full seat denim Horze breeches and I love them. But in this saddle the silicone was too sticky and it kept pulling on my leg. I had to stop and readjust a few times. Carmen took that all very well.
We played with shoulder in on the inside track and centre line. It's hard for me to not worry about her having her head up. Not because I want her in a frame but when her head is it's because she is looking for danger and likely to bolt. So me having a loopy rein here is a big step for me.
We finished up with canter work and it was amazing. She was so straight and forward. I could feel her whithers lifting her pushing from behind. Even Shanea said 'wow, where has that canter been hiding?'
I knew it existed but it was fun to ride.
Carmen has a busy mouth and now that I have the flash off she is more active. However, with a flash she pushes on it which is more tension. So I have the flash off and have faith that we will work through it. I contribute to it as well with my hands that insist on being busy but we're getting there. However, at times she will put her tongue over the bit and then get really upset. I usually stop and let her sort her tongue and then carry on. When we were cantering to the left she got her tongue over the bit but I didn't stop. Instead I pushed my hands forward and let her sort herself. What was nice was that she didn't even change her stride. She fixed it and we carried on.
hands forward while I tell her to sort it out
All in all it was a good lesson. I have homework and I hope that I can show improvement in the straightness. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous this colour combination is on her?
She really is a gorgeous mare and yes teal suits her. I always like a blue tone on grey horses.ReplyDelete
We are our own worst critics, keep calm and carry on!
Thank you! Yes the blue works well with gray horses.Delete
I'm glad you had such a good lesson but I'm too distracted by now amazing she looks in that color to comment on anything else 🤩🤩🤩🤩ReplyDelete
I was thinking that you would love it.Delete
I hear you on the learning to ride. You guys are looking good!ReplyDelete
Riding is hard! But thank you.Delete
Anybody can ride it's riding correctly that I'm still working on after all these years!ReplyDelete
Love that color combo on her then again she'd look good in anything because she's a lovely grey mare.
You are right- the more we learn the more learn that we don’t know things.Delete
I love that color on her. You look great on her, too.ReplyDelete
lol i feel like i'll be working on basics like 'straightness' for the rest of my riding life haha!ReplyDelete
Forever and ever, amen. 😁Delete
Thanks for sharing your journey with Carmen! Such a lot to learn!ReplyDelete
You both look great! Booger has a busy mouth too. She has gotten her tongue over the bit a handful of times over the years. I had a dressage rider remind me that, "A busy mouth is better than a quiet, rigid mouth." I took comfort in that. I hope you will too.ReplyDelete
That is a good point. It’s way better than when she had mouth clamped shut and hard.Delete
Sounds like a really great lesson! I have similar struggles in that I don't trust the head up and my hands also get busy. The fact that a lot of good riding means doing nothing just seems so impossible to my hands...ReplyDelete
With so many things- the better you are the more it looks like you are doing nothing.Delete
The colour on her is amazing! Lengthening that baroque neck is a never-ending quest, but she really is looking super strong and confident.ReplyDelete