I had another pretty good ride on Izzy. She had several wonderful moments, notably two (that's right, 2) stretch circles at the trot and of her own volition. She also learned how to do a turn on the haunches in less than a minute. She had to learn because today she decided to lean through her left shoulder instead of her right. I switched my whip and focused on riding from my inside leg to my outside rein, but she still leaned through, so we stopped and did a turn on the haunches to get her to move her shoulder. I was impressed by how quickly she picked it up.
I'd say she's doing very, very well. Apparently, other people have noticed, as now a fellow boarder has asked me to train her daughter's 4 year old know-nothing gelding.
I'm flattered and I'll probably do it because I need the money to pay for my own pony, but I'm not thrilled about it. Here's why.
1) The horse is a big boy (like 16.3ish). His owners are/were scared of him, and he learned to push them around. After a couple months with us, he's finally learned not to chase people, but there's still that mentality.
2) The daughter is a girl I have zero respect for as a rider. She's the one that Izzy pinned her ears and lunged at because the girl couldn't be bothered to look where she was going and kept running up her tail. This is the same girl who only ever rides the horse her parents bought her (so she could win) in lessons and shows. The four year old? Yeah, he was raised at her house and she never bothered to handle him. At all. This girl rode her horse in draw reins and PULLED HER OVER because, well, I don't know why. It was scary. The poor mare clearly hated the draw reins. The girl wouldn't let up. The horse lost her balance. Girl pulled her over almost on top of herself. The other boarders were rushing to see if the girl was ok. I just wanted to slap her. Her comment after what was clearly a traumatic experience for the mare? "Well, I hope she learned her lesson." What? That draw reins are scary and bad and painful?? I think she already had a grip on that. Grrr. I know said girl can't train the horse herself (she's never ridden a greenie in her life), but I feel bad prepping a horse for someone so useless.
3) The people who have worked with this horse since he got here taught him some lovely habits. Today, he tried to roll on the saddle and struck out when I wouldn't let him. He kicks when his feet are picked up and has an attention span shorter than that of the average gnat. I know all these problems are fixable, but it's irritating to have a horse with this many bad habits and zero useful training.
Oh well. I'll keep you updated on how it goes. I console myself by realizing that I already blew my USEF amateur status by shoveling horse manure, so I might as well get paid to ride horses, too. Oh, and new boy's name is Bear. He's a Holsteiner.