Lesson was awesome even though almost all of it happened at the walk. I've been struggling forever to get Charlie to accept the outside rein and after this lesson, I finally feel like I know what I need to do. Part of my problem is he "blows off my leg" according to Carolyn. He falls in on the corners and I open my outside rein to compensate for him not listening to my inside aides. I'm basically making 2 mistakes here - 1) letting him blow off my leg and 2) taking my outside rein off his neck which breaks the contact. So how to fix? Well, 1) I need to carry a whip to give him a tap when he "forgets" to listen to my inside leg, 2) keep the inside flexion - I should be able to always see the corner of his inside eyeball, and 3) keep my outside rein on his neck no matter what! Typically, we move right into the trot work but this lesson we spent a ton of time in the walk really focusing on getting Charlie to accept the contact. Carolyn basically told me once I get my act in gear and get him comfortable with the contact, everything else will fall right into place.
Cherie basically told me all of this before but I think sometimes I become a little ADD and can't figure out what to focus on. I guess that's the beauty of riding with someone who focuses on pure dressage - she's really able to pick out the weakest link and focus on that and only that. I need that as I have a really hard time on prioritizing what I need to work on. I get on and start thinking about how he needs to be forward but wait he needs to be balanced but he also needs to be supple and soft and what about engaging his hind end, etc, etc, etc. I feel like I have so many holes in my education - it's a little frustrating at times. Ok, a lot frustrating!
Now for the bad news. When we did finally pick up the trot, he got pretty lame very quickly. Obviously that meant we were done for the day. I was really hoping that by the time we got home, he would be better. No such luck. I called the farrier and we both agreed that he most likely has an abscess. Poor Charlie. He was so sore today coming in from turnout. Hopefully that means it's just about to pop. Believe it or not, in all my years dealing with horses, I've never seen an abscess. Keeping my fingers crossed that 1) this is an abscess and 2) I never see another one. He's definitely in a lot of pain even with bute.
I'm on the hunt for new shipping boots as my current 17 yr old shipping boots have kind of lost their umph. I'm open to whatever brand but they need to be big as Charlie has very looong legs so if you have any suggestions, let me know!
The sunrise from last Thursday - I took this right before pulling into the barn.
And this is Snowball, one of the dogs that lives at the farm. She's typically really furry (she looks like a white golden retriever) but Nadine shaved her with the horse clippers and she looks super funny! Furry face, legs and tail with a shorn body. Makes me giggle every time I see her.