My friend who usually rides with us on Tuesdays and Thursdays had a pretty busy day yesterday, so she wasn't able to come out and ride. Still, I had warm new socks and a new jacket ($4.50 at the Idaho Youth Ranch. Score!!) I headed out, despite the fact that yet again, it hasn't been above freezing in a week. Aside from being cold, it was a pretty day. The sun was shining and there weren't any clouds.
Izzy was happy to see me and even happier to try the new peppermint flavored treats I got her. I think her favorites are still the berry kind, though. She'll actually suck on those ones. Funny mare.
Anyways, we had to brave the bubble of doom by ourselves, as Cathy was tied up helping the farrier trim the babies. She did say she'd probably come over later to ride one of the neighbor's horses. After tacking Izzy up, I bravely led her to the road to walk over to the arena. This has become a part of the routine for her, so she wasn't too worked up about leaving her friends behind. That's what I love about nasty mares; they don't really like other horses to begin with, so it's not a big deal if the other horses don't go with them.
We made it to the doors of the doom bubble, and I had to muster up a little more courage. I had to convince Izzy that she was going to go in there with me, unassisted. We didn't have plan B. There was no one around to help if she decided she didn't want to go. I led her up, and the first try, I got her to stick her nose inside the claustrophobic box. Then we circled around and tried again. The second try, she got her front feet in, too. I reached outside the door and trapped her flank with my whip, and she walked right in. Hurray!!
I think it helped that it was so light outside; it's a little less claustrophobic when we can actually see. Once inside, I lunged her. It was nice that we were alone, because I just gave her as much line as she wanted, and she galloped and bucked and worked off all that energy she's accumulating from not getting to run around much in the crappy weather. After watching her for a while, I was pretty glad that Cathy was cming over to join us. I really didn't want to get on Izzy by myself, shielded from everyone else's view, especially when she's that rambunctious.
Once Cathy arrived, I got on, and off we went. Izzy was really, really good. She used to be scared of the end of the arena by the door, but that was her safe side today. We did more walk trot transitions, and she had one big spook at a car driving by too fast. She settled down ok after that, and I was quite pleased with her. She's so good, really. She bucked like a maniac on the lunge line, but didn't even try it under saddle. <3
I was working on keeping my hands soft, which I think I did fairly well, but I realized that I'm keeping my body fairly rigid, I think partly in reaction to being nervous about the indoor, and partly because I'm just plain out of practice. I'll try to work on that more now that I'm aware of it, and we're supposed to have a lesson on Thursday morning. Wish us luck!