Remember the ending to the 80's sit coms where the guy would say, "sit Ubu, sit. Good Dog?" Well, we said that to MP over and over this weekend and she got it! I just returned from an exciting weekend in Carmel for lessons with Ellen at Los Suenos. The "Carmel Ladies" were out in full force: Nancy Bareilles, Susan Baxter & her sister Kathy, Julie Culver, Erin Bransan, Erin O'Connor, Katy Peterson, and Elizabeth whom I just met this weekend.
The lessons with Ellen went great, and included Ellen riding MP for about 40 mins on Sunday. Our new project is to develop FEI gaits, and being this as a completely new project to me, it works best to have the expert show MP the way. It was pretty amazing to watch and there were several jaw dropping moments and "holy crap, I had no idea she could move like that," comments coming from the peanut gallery. I was able to then get back on and feel the difference, and realize how much stamina and strength it takes to actually ride and keep the FEI gaits. I was wiped out when we were through! It just solidified the need for strength training (which I will talk about in a later post). My lesson on Saturday was spent perfecting the shoulder in, which I was riding completely wrong. I was riding it more like a leg yield rather than the preparation for half pass. Whoops! I think I got it now.
Saturday night we went to one of the cutest homes I have ever been to. It was straight out of a movie. I'll take pictures the next time I go. It is owned by Julie Culver and includes big old trees that take up the entire front yard, a sliding barn door between the kitchen and living space, and a guest room that looks like an old west cabin from the 1800's (but more stylish). Julie cooked us a fantastic dinner and we had great conversations about horses and politics. What else would you expect!
I had a great conversation with Erin O'Connor about her background in dance and how you present yourself through your body. It was a very helpful conversation when considering how to present yourself on the horse through your head and shoulders. I kept this thought in the front of my mind when I rode on Sunday and I felt taller and more confident on the horse. It was a great feeling and one that I will probably carry on as I continue to train.
Dinner was followed by a peaceful rest at Nancy's house in one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in. And was definitely in order for the big day on Sunday.
Thank you Camel Ladies! You guys are a great group and it is always so fun to come visit!