So not much to say other than it was another typical, awesome Carolyn lesson. I can never really put my finger on what is so awesome about each lesson but somehow I leave feeling like I can totally conquer the dressage world. Charlie was really good when we got to the farm (he's only been there once before in early July) and settled right down, making tacking up easier (he doesn't tie...sigh). He was a little silly when I got on but settled down fairly quickly. We worked on lots of the same stuff (repetition is very good for me!) and Carolyn helped me with leg yielding to keep him on the rail and push him deeper in the corners. Basically, when going down the long side, I have a tough time keeping him on the rail - he kind of drifts in and doesn't listen to my leg, gets strung out, etc. Carolyn told me I need to help Charlie understand he's supposed to stay on the rail by thinking leg yield and ensuring I half-halt so he knows I want him to go sideways instead of forward. Novel concept, right? Once she said that, I felt kind of stupid because it's commonsense and I know this stuff but I guess that's why she gets the money and not me... It's the same idea to get him deeper in the corner - inside leg pushes him over while the outside rein asks him to stay the same speed. I only lasted for about 30 minutes - it was hot and really humid (thanks Isaac) and I was still a little dehydrated from my whole deathbed thing so we called it quits. She'll be back in the area next week so I get to see her two weeks in a row - making up for my break to PA!
So I don't usually rant but this topic really irritates me. I've mentioned before that Charlie cribs as in a wind sucker, not a wood chewer. There is a difference, promise! It doesn't consume his life - he's kind of like a casual smoker, you know, the one who smokes when they get up, after meals, and before bed. He primarily does it around feeding time and it is completely controlled by a collar. He came with this folks and he makes up for this bad habit in NUMEROUS other AWESOME behaviors. Now to the part that annoys me. I read/hear folks talk about how cribbers "just don't get enough turnout, don't have enough food in front of them, have ulcers, etc." Basically, if I took better care of him, he wouldn't crib (same deal with rain rot -if you groomed him better, he wouldn't get it. Well, he gets groomed/bathed daily and still gets rain rot). Newsflash for all those folks who have never owned a cribber but seem to know exactly how to cure the habit - Charlie typically lives out 24/7 with another horse on either a 6 acre field or a 3 acre field filled with lots of grass. When he is in, he has endless hay - I have never found him without some hay left in his hay net (and remember, I take almost complete care of him). Oh, and he's been treated for ulcers. Every horse is different and no horse is truly perfect. Everyone has something they won't tolerate that to others, is not a big deal. Bottom line - don't judge, especially if you have never had to deal with the trait you seem to think you know everything about. Novel concept in the horse industry I know... Ok, done now! Sorry!
I rode today - it was so humid, I thought I was going melt away to nothing. It was really gross out even though it was only about 75 degrees out. Charlie was really good and at the end, I took my stirrups off and practiced lots of sitting trot and some canter sans stirrups. Posting was a bit tough in my dressage saddle so I think I'll save that for my jump saddle. Fitness plan is coming, along with the riding schedule - I got thrown off track with the illness.
He just wanted his bath - not some silly girl taking his picture...