Last Saturday Carmen and I had a lesson. Once again I could feel us moving forward. We did most of it on a 20 metre circle and I was to get Carmen forward and bending. Turns out that when she pushes back against my leg I give up and don't carry through with the bend. To paraphrase Jane "you are living in 'almsotland' and I need you to leave it".
So I sucked it up and worked my tail off to insist on bend. I could definitely feel that it helped and where on the circle Carmen is happy to bend and where she is not (no one will be surprised when I tell you that it's where she can look over the neighbouring field towards the trees). At one point she gave a little scoot away and Jane said' you've lost the rhythm. Get it back'. I had to laugh (which was probably her intent).
|Not from this lesson but a nice sure halt |
and listening ears
Jane also identified that I tend to grip with my knees which takes my calves off of her sides. To compensate I twist my ankle in weird ways that, funnily enough, does not help things. And we also worked on my relaxing my *ahem* groin area so it wasn't so tense and popping me out of the saddle. So, as per usual it was a great lesson, I learned a lot and was exhausted and happy at the end. So was Carmen. As soon as I dropped the rein she marched up to Jane to receive her accolades. It's kinda hilarious.
|I don't know if you can see it here but she's got|
her haunches a little to the inside and is not
bending around my leg.
Then we went on our fun hack. On Monday the fine fall weather had turned into angry autumn weather. All week it rained and blew and was generally miserable. I was okay with that because it also coincided with a very busy work week and it allowed me to rest rather than push myself to ride or feel bad that I couldn't.
Then I booked a lesson for this Saturday. I wouldn't normally book one so close together but I'm finding that Carmen and I are gaining ground after every lesson that I am hungry for more. I also have her surgery date looming and I want to get as much training in as I can before we have to break. It's hard to predict what the weather will be late November for riding so I'm squeezing in as much as possible.
I rode Carmen on Friday. She was cranky in the barn but pretty mellow for the ground work. When I mounted she immediately began throwing her shoulders around pretty aggressively and building up to picking a major fight. I could feel her getting ready to launch and she wouldn't even stop by the gate so I could put my crop down. In the past I would have dismounted and I seriously considered it. But I recalled that none of these things bothered her during the groundwork and it felt like her behaviour to get out of work.****
I don't believe that Carmen plans this nor do I think she has evil intent. What I do think is that over the years she has learned that certain behaviours result in less work. I've been actively tackling that for a year and it's so much better. But training is never a straight line and I am not surprised that this surfaces every now and then.
|An oldie but a goodie|
Because she's pushing more she can reach more with her front end and not lose her balance. Near the end Jane asked me to do a half walk pirouette and it was pretty good: