Which is good because spring is a fickle creature in Canada.
I have so many layers out that it's ridiculous. Same for the horses. I am going between them being naked, to a rain sheet or a light blanket. While I'm complaining, I am still feeling better. I am getting more opportunities to ride.
Some of them even when I don't think it's going to happen. Julia and I made plans to ride one day but when she arrived it was pouring. So we brought the horses in and gave them a great grooming. Just as we were done the rain stopped so we quickly threw tack on and managed a 30 minute ride.
Yesterday it wasn't raining but it was brutally windy. I wasn't sure we'd be able to ride (or, frankly, even if I wanted to). That morning I did a bunch of work up in the ring- levelling out some low spots and then dragging it a couple times. I have some sand on order and will work that in when it arrives.
|I love my ring. The sun looks nice but that wind was wild|
In the end neither Julia nor I chickened out so we got ready. Irish and Carmen were not super impressed with this development. I lunged her first but she didn't seem to be too silly. When I get on I don't coddle her anymore. By that I mean that we walk around the ring and do our warm up. If she tightens and gets spooky I put my leg on and keep the outside rein. It's amazing how much that works to get her settled. Especially since I don't give up. With the birds flitting about the trees beside the ring Carmen can get a bit distracted.
Anyway, we're trotting around warming up heading down the long side towards the mounting block (coming at us on the left side of the photo) when Carmen slammed on the brakes, deked left and leapt across the middle of the ring. As she launched I put my leg on and started laughing. We landed, I put my leg on and we trotted around in a circle while I giggled away.
'oh Carmen, so many feelings'. We circled a few times and then carried on with the ride. Before, this move would have unseated me and I would have been frightened about coming off. That would make me react defensively and piss me off. Instead I'm working on embracing Carmen in all her moods. Having my seat improved with lessons also helps quite a bit. Anyway, after that we carried on with just a couple little glitches.
|Carmen: you're not fun anymore|
Today was a sweet April day: cool in the morning but the sun was shining and the wind was light. Perfect for riding. I am wanting to get away from having to lunge at the start of every ride so today I didn't put on her halter once tacked up. Instead, we did a little ground work with the bridle on and I hopped on. There were a few corners causing some concern but nothing major. I've been working on her understanding the turn on the forehand and then moving that into our work on a circle. I think we're getting it (I'll find out for sure in our next lesson).
I'm finding my consistency of expectations and not reacting is making her happier in our work. Our discussions are shorter and she's enjoying time with me. We worked for a solid 35 minutes and then I asked her to go to the gate so I could open it. Clearly she had not forgotten that work. Then Julia and I and the ponies headed for our first hack of the year.
|my version of Sunday church|
It was awesome. I started with a rather short rein but by the end we were on a long rein (except for when we headed home. I'm not stupid). Carmen likes to stop a few times and just relax. I let her because I think it's sweet. And because I also like to stop and just breathe in the woods so I get it.
It was a beautiful day. Which is good because we're expecting snow tomorrow. I'm hoping that the snow won't stick around because I have some plans for Carmen and I next weekend.