dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, June 3, 2022

Riding Today's Horse

Spoiler alert- this is another 'my horse is awesome' post. (#sorrynotsorry). 

One thing I struggle with is reinforcing old patterns instead of staying in the moment. I am sure I am not alone. When Carmen is a bit tight and looky I can find myself tightening up and anticipating a bit reaction. 

While that is totally understandable, it actually doesn't move us forward. Jane likes to tell me 'she's not that horse any more'. And she's right. 

my new favourite photo. It might make it's way to my banner. 
Clearly Guinness takes his job as sidekick very seriously. 

But every ride is helping me realise that Carmen is not the same as she was even last year. And realising it at a deeper level than just superficially.   This week Julia's sun visor flew off her helmet and she managed to use her crop to move it out of the ring. The first time by Carmen gave a spook and a jolt. I put my leg on and used my outside rein and we carried on. By the third time by she was happy to just give it the hairy eyeball. 

In our lesson Jane is able to throw harder and harder things at us and neither of us melts down.  Even when it's hard. Here we are doing a 10 meter (ish) half circle to counter canter down the rail and then transition to trot. This was literally the first time we've ever tried this. 

Another new one was to leg yield and pick up a canter when we got back to the rail. 

Clearly there's a lot for me to work on with me. But I'm finding that we're becoming very tuned in to one another. And when we don't start that way I can get us there without feeling like I need to sacrifice a small goat at the alter of dramatic mares. 

Remember our canter departs and how difficult they were? And how much flail we had with our right lead? 

What is even better is that either one of us can make a mistake and just move on. I have to share this video of how I totally screwed up the walk-canter. I put my leg on too much and Carmen was not impressed. She started on the correct but I screwed it up so she switched to the wrong lead and then fixed it. You can hear me apologise. And then we just went back to working on it without a lot of drama. 

I love how rhythmical we're getting. I love that I can saddle up and hop on without lunging for 20 minutes. I love that I can hack out on a long rein. I love that we can work towards things and end up better at the end of our rides.  

I love that she's actually enjoying the work these days. 

but mostly I just love this mare


  1. Awww, she's becoming a grown up mare! You two are a wonderful pair.

    1. Thank you. I love that we’re working on movements rather than behaviour these days

  2. I love this update. You two have become such a beautiful team! <3 That right lead canter video was especially lovely!

  3. What a great place to be! And your weather looks beautiful, too. I can’t wait to get where you’re at with Carmen with Tumbleweed. 🙏 I’ve experienced that feeling with my other horses, and I know exactly what you’re talking about, and how the road is lined with many challenges. I love to read the success stories you’re now enjoying. Keep them coming.

    1. I am sure you will get there with Tweed. He was lucky to have you from the start


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