We had a little dressage clinic at the barn today.
I did not know the instructor and it was a group lesson so really the only thing I hoped for was that Nina would not have a melt down.
She was fine. OK, we had a few moments. She refused to trot a few times in her head tossing you-can't-make-me mode, which is always followed by a you can't make me walk cuz I'm trotting moment. She punched her time clock at 20 minutes, told me she was done. But this was all WITHOUT the nervous, suicidal energy running underneath that always makes me wonder if she is willing to kill us both to get her own way. She was just a slightly pissy mare who needs more schooling and much of the time she was perfectly cheerful. It has to be the raspberry, it is too many consecutive days to be just coincidence.
And we got an exercise to work on to improve the down transitions, which at this point are done solely off the outside rein or, if done with both reins, involves a lot of grabbing and hanging - her, not me for once.
So the day was a double success.
The raspberry leaf also one of those double edged swords. I am glad that I found something that works and I feel bad that her resistances may all have been because she has been uncomfortable, maybe all her life and I didn't find this earlier.
On the other hand, that should make me the hero and not somebody to fight with. Right, Nina?