It's raining a lot today, which is sad. It is apparently also terrifying. Izzy had to have some outside encouragement to get in to the Doom Bubble this morning, most likely because of the horrifying dripping noises on the outside. (You know what they say about dripping noises. Or, if you do, please leave it in the comments.
After we got in, though, she was wonderful. She lunged fairly quietly, stood to let me mount, and off we went. Cathy was riding her horse at the same time. Cathy's horse was being stupid, because she HATES being indoors. I watched them go around a little, and was really thankful for my less-fancy-but-way-calmer horse.
I used to do dressage clinics pretty regularly with a lady who comes in from the Portland area. It drove me nuts because she would tell me to do something, not give me enough time to start doing it, and tell me to do something else, and want me to have the first thing done while I did the second thing. I hated it at the time, and my Dad labeled her "the riding nazi". I have to admit, though, her methods were effective. She made me think right here, right now, and she made me realize that what I was doing was the problem, not the horse.
I can apply what I learned from her now, and thanks to her constantly telling me what to do, over and over, I can still hear it in my head. "Outside sitting bone in the middle of the saddle. Tower out!" The more I'm progressing with Izzy, the more it applies to us. I feel like we're finally reaching a harmonious place together where I can begin to finesse what we've worked on up to this point.
Hurray! And now, the tour of the Bubble of Doom (aka an inflatable indoor arena).
Well, ok, first is a picture of Izzy, done working and happily eating breakfast under her shelter. I moved her back into a pen because I like when she's dry.
Sorry I don't know how to rotate this. These are our stars: Cathy (foreground) with Ben and Tonia with Dart, the old schoolmaster.
To get to the arena, we go down the driveway (I told you it was wet).
Then down the road.
Go in the gate...
Past the barn and the scary much wheelbarrow.
Into the claustrophobic box.
And into the Bubble of Doom!
It's really like being in a thought bubble. Even the sounds are sort of muffled and weird.
I don't remember the exact dimensions, but you can comfortably lunge two horses and it's about the size of a small dressage arena.
To get in or out, you have to open this window on the claustrophobic box. It's particularly scary when going in, because cold air comes whooshing out.
This is inside the box on a cloudy day with no flash, looking away from the well-lit window. I see why Izzy finds it intimidating.
So, I hope that help you all understand just how much of an accomplishment it is for Izzy to make it in there. Because it was cloudy and miserable out, the roof was pretty much all the same grey. On sunny days, the trees show up on the side, and that is pretty terrifying, too. I'll have to take more pictures, if the sun ever comes out again.