I've been really enjoying my rides on Carmen these days. I'm feeling excited about riding and that feeling stays after and in between my rides. I've noticed a big upswing in my confidence as well.
Carmen is progressing as well. Don't get me wrong, she's still, well, Carmen. But I think that I'm being more clear and persistent and she's responding to that. I find that now that I'm really focussing on the outside rein and keeping it there while letting it follow that she comes back to it sooner. I've started to notice that, at a certain point, I want to give up and let go. And that's when she has the freedom to skedaddle. Because I'm not giving up she's figuring that out and comes back to me more quickly. Often with just a little pulse.
I've also started to notice that Carmen has a 'tell' before things start to fall apart. When she's starting to think that she might want to exit stage left (or right depending on what rein we're on) she gets marginally heavier on the inside rein. That heaviness increases as her tension mounts and my instinct is to take more of the inside rein and loosen the outside. Now I over ride that impulse and take more outside and then ask her to soften to the inside using inside leg and pulsing the inside or opening the inside rein. I have to make sure that, whatever else happens, I make sure that the outside always has a little more pressure. And, miraculously, she softens, drops her head and breathes out and we carry on. Nine times out of ten. Which I'll take.
But wait, I hear you ask, I thought you said this was a lesson recap?
You are right, my patient reader, it is. I just wanted to share a little as a precursor. This time for my lesson Julia was watching and took a ton of video and photos.
Our lesson starts pretty much the same- I recap what's bene happening and what I'm struggling with. Mostly it's about keeping her straight or shoulder fore. Although it's improving. The biggest issue is that when Carmen wants to look outside she actively resists. I can't let her not give to the inside but I have to soften even before she does so there's something to relax to.
Jane has been helping me feel when Carmen gets fast in front and dragging her front end along (like a slinky toy). She gets me to slow her down and the let her out. It takes a lot of concentration. But as we go along her ears get floppy and she follows the rein to drop her neck. According to Jane I'm getting better at being elastic with my rein so that I'm not holding and then dropping the contact.
What is also much better is our transitions and gaits.
It takes a lot of work. Like a lot. But it's working and I really love it.
There's a lot to love about this photo, even if she's curling behind the vertical. Right after I was told to soften to let her out a bit.
|Carmen convinced that we are clearly going to die. |
Spoiler alert: we didn't
|It's clearly working|
|Carmen: I'm pretty happy in the shade.....|
Yay lesson media! You and Carmen are such an inspiration to me 😊 you're both looking great!ReplyDelete
Thank you so much. I think I need more teal though.....Delete
Those canter transitions were lovely! You two have made so much progress over the last couple of years!ReplyDelete
Thank you. I'm so happy with our canter transitions.Delete
Looks like everything is coming together! Nice work. Hope the weather continues to be warm and you get more riding time.ReplyDelete
It's been a stellar fall so far. I hope it stays like that until Feb. :DDelete
What a good feeling to have so many more tools now. I hate when my instincts in dressage are wrong (“omg pull the inside rein!”) but apparently that’s just how it goes LOLReplyDelete
Yup. Now I spend time arguing with my body. 😁Delete
Beautiful! I loved the part of the video where the coach says “Bend her. Bend her. Bend her. Bend her.” Seems like a great coach and the progress is clear. Those transitions were like butter melting on a hot summer day.ReplyDelete
What a great analogy. I love it and will likely steal it! Jane is just so clear.Delete
You’re on fire! It seems like it’s coming together and getting you super excited for more. What a great place to be.ReplyDelete
Exactly! I feel hungry but in a good way.Delete
You two are looking so fancy! All that hard work is really showing!ReplyDelete
Well, one of us in fancy. 😁😁 the other is just trying to keep up.Delete
What a great lesson! And I love that half pass video! So fancy <3ReplyDelete
It was nice and soft. I feel like we’re getting there.Delete