Friday, January 29, 2010

Ok, I Admit

Today was not our best day ever. It definitely wasn't the worst, but we had too much unresolved conflict.

Izzy had another big spook at the beginning, but again we worked through that, which was good. We also had some very nice moments in trot, specifically when we worked on shortening and lengthening. That said, the footing was pretty crappy and we were steering around someone else the whole time, so it wasn't quite the workout I pictured. Izzy decided she didn't want to go through a mud puddle, and then she thought she would ignore my leg. She ended up going off my leg nicely, but then she didn't want to go forward.

She's a little bit like her mommy, in that she gets really upset sometimes, especially if she doesn't quite understand what I'm asking. Unlike her mommy, however, I can keep working through it because her brain does stay with me, it just gets frantic. I'm thinking that we both would have been better served if I incorporated the walk breaks I've been using the past few days to let her know she's doing alright.

I miss summer.

So, my plan to improve: I'm doing some extra work for Cathy this weekend, so I'll see if I can get on the lesson schedule for this upcoming week. To keep progressing, I need input. I need to do a lot more canter work (and transitions), so given the choice between braving the indoor alone and riding in crappy footing with someone else, off to the indoor we will go. In the iffy footing, I really feel like it's unfair to ask Izzy to really take a big, forward trot, and even if we get it, we have to stop almost immediately to avoid hitting someone else.

Also, I timed out workout today: 35 minutes. That's probably ok for now, but I want to build towards working an hour at least. She can develop fitness at slower speeds so when it comes time to start earnestly conditioning for an event, she will have a huge head start.


  1. Some days it just doesn't work out as planned. Bad footing and "traffic" congestion can surely put a crimp in your style. The key is to take at least something good from the ride. In this case, she moved off your leg. She probably really couldn't go as forward as you might have liked, to be pleased with the basic obedience.

    My PJ was dreadful in any kind of slippery conditions, including on the grass. He simply could not give his all. Some horses cope better than others with bad footing, so Izzy obviously needs your understanding. She tried to be a good girl.

  2. Good plan. I've always hated riding in crowded arenas. Although, it is good practice for halts and steering. *LOL*

    I agree with Jean, always take something positive from the ride, even if the only positive was staying on and not crashing! In this case, you got her moving off your leg and learned that she doesn't do well in sloppy footing. I would call that a good day!

  3. If you can end on a good note- Great. Always the best route to take.

    As far as the conditioning goes, keep the horses attention span in mind. They may be in great shape but if you lose their attention, it's done. At least for today. Pushing them any further is asking for trouble.

  4. Hey, they can't all be great days -- then we wouldn't appreciate them as much!
    But it sounds like you're really moving forward by riding Izzy through her spooks and not letting it get you nervous. That in itself is huge!
    I completely empathize with you about crappy footing, too -- the ground at my barn might as well be cement (although that is a hell of a lot of incentive to not fall off!).

  5. I miss summer too. I miss it so bad!


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