So let me get straight to the point because I want to say quite alot and I honestly don't have time to write it all. So on Sunday I lost my temper with Sharlie and she lost hers with me. Very simple very plain. I am ashamed of it, but I cannot change it. So let me tell you what happened today.
I decided to ride Sharlie bareback because we are both much happier that way then with the saddle. We are both naturally tense when it comes to the saddle. I am tense because it reminds me of my past as well as Sharlie being tense. Sharlie is tense because I am tense. So its a vicious circle.
So yes, we were bareback. I was very determined to work on my fluidity when Sharlie is trotting. So we went to the round pen and we walked around while practicing steering with the carrot stick. I need to ask some of my NH friends what they suggest when it comes to steering Sharlie's blind side. Sharlie is doing good with the carrot stick. She lets me rub her all over when I am on her back and her lateral flexion is good.
Finally I worked up my courage to ask for a trot. I made sure my legs were like wet towels hanging around her sides, my shoulders were relaxed... I sank my seat and moved my hips in a figure 8 pattern with her motions and guess what? I didn't bounce an inch out of my seat!
I was so happy that I stayed on as I opened the gate to leave the round pen and rode over to the arena. I chose to sit as a passenger and let Sharlie relax again. (Sharlie, myself and the arena are not on good terms.) It was very interesting- Sharlie does not stop in the arena unless I ask her to. She keeps walking from one exit to the other (both closed) non-stop. It is not in a RB sort of way, just "Ugh...I wonder if I can get out here..." Eventually, she did something I did not expect. She walked away from the fence and crossed to the opposite side of the arena, her head hanging so low her nose touched the ground. Then she blew out over and over and over and over again! She snorted and blew and sighed. It was a wonderful feeling to have her relax so much. I don't think she ever has done that before. It was even better when she arched out her back (the good arching, not the bad) After a bit of playing with stop-start-stop-start, I decided to end the session there. I was very happy with the results.
I managed to find a couple of minutes to go say hello to Casper and to spend a bit of undemanding time. He came and met me at the gate and enjoyed when I stroked his ears, neck and face. He almost fell asleep right beside me! His head just drooped lower and lower... :)
Still writing the novel... Julia, Sharlie and Casper