dancing horses

dancing horses

Saturday, April 8, 2017

The Placebo Effect

Oh my god- could it be spring is finally arrived? After another stint of cold weather and an ice storm things seem to be warming up. It even stayed above zero the past two nights! I have ridden Carmen twice now in the new browband.

The first time she was relaxed and forward and having fun. I joked that it was the new browband working it's mojo.

Because of course it couldn't be all that work I've been putting into our partnership.

That would be a silly idea.
the magical browband of peace and tranquility.
Note how it matches the saddle pad- what is happening to me?

Yesterday it was supposed to rain heavily all day but be warm (FYI warm by Nova Scotia April standards is over 10 Celsius). But it looked like it was trying to clear so Cynthia decided to risk it and come for a ride. Before she came the sun came out and it was beautiful. Just as we were getting the horses ready it began to rain. So we groomed the horses and then brought Irish out to wash his back legs. With his incontinence problem he gets a build up a gunk on his legs. With the winter I couldn't wash them as often as I liked.  Once he was all clean the rain had stopped so we threw on their tack and headed up to the ring.

Carmen was still miffed about being left in the barn while Irish left and anything could have happened to her but did I care? Obviously I did not.  (note to self- Goal this year is to get Carmen used to being left alone in the barn). However, during our groundwork she was pretty settled so I hopped on after a short time.

She started all tense and looky. You must be getting bored with hearing that- I'm getting bored writing it. I'm just ignoring it in the sense that I'm not going to worry with her. Instead I focus on the getting her forward and asking her to stretch. It's hard to give her rein to stretch into when there's a very solid possibility that she will spin and run away so that's a work in progress. But I didn't just stay on the middle circle but got us working all over the ring right away.

To be honest we had some very nice work- when she's listening it's so easy. But listening is really really hard when you're Carmen. At one point we were walking up by troll corner and she was convinced there was something in the grass. I believed her I just didn't think it was a danger. Irish came cantering by and as he left she bolted after him.

HEADS UP I called and for a second I thought that we were going to run up his butt.  I got her stopped  pretty quickly and then realized that for the first time I hadn't had that moment of panic when she bolts (of course she hasn't in a while)- I just rode it out, got her back and we repeated the circle up at that end.

Our transitions have been much better lately- very little drama and when there is, it's short lived. We picked up a canter and it was a bit wooly at first. We did a series of circles working our way up to troll corner.  The canter was pretty nice and then she decided that she must look to the right while going left and have her body bent as far away from that side of the ring as possible. I am suspecting that counter canter is not going to be an issue with this girl. I repeated the circle, this time making sure I had the outside rein but not over do the inside. And we had a lovely bendy canter circle with no drama at all.  I brought her back to a walk and we finished there.

Magical browbands aside, I am pleased with how things are going so far. There were times in the ride where she stretched over her back and reached for the contact. I'm trying to encourage that by riding better and NOT falling forward onto her forehand.

Hopefully the trend in Carmen and the weather continues because our first show is 4 weeks away.

Thank god for the magical browband of Peace and Tranquility.

show? What show? What do you mean 'show'?


29 comments:

  1. I am a firm believer in the magical properties of beautiful tack. And she does indeed look quite lovely in that browband. Maybe now that she feels she's getting the princess treatment she deserves, she can acquiesce to bestowing her good graces upon the unwashed masses? Lol....

    Also. Yay spring!!

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    1. ha- that could be it- finally I am giving her the bling she deserves. :D

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  2. Carmen looks beautiful in her brow band of peace and tranquility and of course you just must have a matching saddle pad to complete the look. I've always tried to have matching ensembles I think it looks good.

    Happy to hear your weather is taking a turn for the better. We had some spitting snow last night and this morning but this too shall pass. Great work with Carmen. I think it's impressive the way you bring her back from her nonsense so quickly and easily. That's great progress.

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    1. I think that's the biggest thing- before she was impossible to get back now we can bounce back and just go on working.

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  3. Hooray for spring and majikal browbands! :)

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  4. Oh, it's beautiful! It sounds like you know your horse and how to go with her. And it doesn't hurt to have a symbol of protection and beauty on her head. I collect gemstones and I've always felt that their properties do give us extra strength, if for no other reason, then that we are concentrating on those qualities and our minds are powerful.

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    1. That's a good point- intent is important.

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  5. She's so beautiful. And how does your outfit match that tack?

    She has this look in her eye, I swear it's new. It's docile contentment. What a horse to be in love with, I hope you are.

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    1. No, my outfit does not yet. I need blue riding pants to go with the ensemble...

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    2. And yes I am in love with her.

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  6. That browband is so beautiful! Fingers crossed the weather here on out cooperates for you.

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    1. Thank you- I really hope the weather stays nice for a while.

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  7. She knows that brow and makes her special I bet. It's gorgeous.

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    1. She does know that she's special.

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  8. Excellent! I really wanted to ride this weekend but instead we have snow. Grrr.

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  9. She's wearing sort of matching outfits, pretty blue.

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  10. Maybe that is what Annie and I are missing - a browband for peace and tranquility lmao!

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  11. I love hearing your progress, no big deals just small things that you just move one from. A show...that should be fun :)

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  12. You've started consciously matching your gear - it's a slippery slope. Pretty soon you'll be choosing your outfits to match Carmen's. Make sure you take photos. <3

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    1. I MUST get some blue riding pants!

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  13. The matchy-matchy game is hard to stop once it starts! ;) Carmen looks gorgeous in that browband!

    You have come so far with her. It is wonderful to read about how your relationship together continues to evolve. I'm excited about your show! :D

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    1. I am afraid that I might not be able to stop and will end up with matching wardrobes..... I'm excited for the show myself. It will be about the learning

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  14. Love the browband and how your relationship with this horse continues to strengthen. And hurrah for warmth and temperatures above freezing. We're firmly in the "it's warm for real" category now, but I'm still hesitant to plant the garden!

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    1. Based on today we're getting into the warmer weather. I am sure it will get cool again but I'm enjoying the above zero temps and the melting snow...

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