I rode Saturday and Sunday, so I'm giving Miss Izzy the day off today. She was so good yesterday. It was amazing. Every once in a while, we have days like this which I call "Best Day Ever". The nice thing is that we're in a place in our training where this happens a lot. Saturday was our new best day ever, then Sunday was better. What makes it so good?
We trotted figure eights. That's right. She can hold her gait and change bend and direction. We are starting to be able to steer, and she's not leaning through her right shoulder as atrociously.
She did rear on the lunge again, even without me putting pressure on her. It was cute (at least, as cute a a 1000+ pound animal can be while acting up), kind of like she was trying to tell me she didn't want to work. I've been thinking about it, tough, and I'm considering not lunging her most of the time. She's quiet and non-spooky more or less. I can usually tell if she's going to act up, so as long as she seems fine and is doing regular work, maybe I won't lunge her.
My rather unconventional lunging philosophy (I guess) is to allow to the horse to blow off steam (as needed) and warm up a little bit. I watch the horse to see how they're behaving, and with young horses, I get them listening to me by doing a few transitions. When I first started with Izzy, we did lots of trot/canter/trot transitions on the lunge because she wanted to buck as she went up. It could have been a balance thing, it could have been a mental thing. Either way, she doesn't do it any more.
As such, if I think Izzy's going to be quiet, I think I'll chance it and ride her without lunging unless she hasn't been worked the day before or I am introducing something new, either tack or (gasp) a canter transition.
Really. I think we're almost ready.