This winter has been a little bit of a struggle for me as Emi has been on the tense side. I feel like it has been harder to work her through it due to the fact that I don't yet know what she is capable of and also because I haven't felt like I have a lot of tools. Since she doesn't know all that much it's not as easy to just "put her to work."
In the last month or so I realized that I need to quit worrying about what she might do and ride her as if she's trained. Wouldn't you know that has made a world of difference! I hopped on her for our ride tonight and she was yet again tense. I'm not sure what it is about our arena but she's really not a big fan. I was able to put our new exercises and clinic tools to work and it was so helpful. Now that she's becoming more trained there are so many more things to work on and I love it!
We capitalized on the nervous tension but working on that nice forward engine. We had some of our best canter transitions and even a few moments where I felt able to influence the canter. We practiced bringing her shoulders around with a slight counter bend and that went really well. I think we are both getting the hang of it. In addition, we worked on those nose to the wall leg yields at the trot and got some much better attempts at them than we did in our lesson on Saturday. At the end of the ride she was trotting forward with a nice swinging trot and was the most stretchy she has ever felt. It's so nice to be at a stage where the progress can really be felt.