Since we planned my lesson, I've been saying "please don't rain. Please don't rain", over and over and over.
It didn't rain. It did, however, snow. I hadn't thought to ask for that. Fortunately, the snow started Saturday morning, so the arena was still just fine. Izzy lunged and warmed up just fine, and then we had our lesson.
We're finally to the point where Cathy can actually pick on my position because I'm the problem instead of Izzy. Really, this is a good thing. Izzy is finally trained enough to ride properly. So, Cathy had me work on several things.
1) I need to remember to keep my lower legs back. I tend to swing them forward.
2) I need to keep my feet straight forward. Since our goal is eventing (dressage) and not H/J, then I need to adopt a more dressage-y leg. To do this, I need to turn my leg in from the hips. Turning in at the knew just causes unnecessary and painful torque.
3) Shoulders back...
4) Izzy tends to curl up instead of go forward on to the bit. This allows her to get behind my leg and mosey along. Oh, and also rear periodically (but not in the lesson). To correct this, I need to raise the inside rein and give her a gentle bump while applying leg and riding forward. The purpose of raising the rein is to let the bit act on the corner of her mouth instead of the bars.
5) Izzy also tends to lean down on the bit when she loses her balance forward. She is pretty sensitive about her face, so Cathy recommended letting her lean for now and rebalancing her her from my body. Because of Izzy's sensitivity, she doesn't think it's likely that Izzy will become a leaner and it's more important to get her going forward.
Then, Cathy commented that she thinks Izzy is ready to jump. Hurray!! We started with a set of trot poles, which Izzy went through like it was nothing. I expected that; she did tons of trot poles last fall. Then we had one trot pole and a tiny crossrail. Izzy just stepped over it. (It's ok; I didn't squeal in glee, despite beings strongly tempted). Then a slightly bigger crossrail. I did my best to act completely professional and just let her figure it out.
Then, Cathy set up a little 2' vertical with a line out in front of it. Izzy tried stepping over it, crashed through it, and apparently realized that she'd need a new strategy next time. We trotted around again and Izzy stepped over the ground pole, then snapped up her knees and jumped the tiny vertical like she'd been doing it all her life. YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm super excited. We jumped it once more, then I let her be done. She was pretty tired from working 6 days last week. It felt so amazing to jump her. Plus, she was totally fine about it. She even seemed interested. After the we finished, I asked Cathy about what I should be done, since obviously I don't want to push her too hard. She put on on the regular lesson schedule*, so now we will have lessons every Wednesday for the next few weeks at least!!!! I'm very happy and excited.
*Note: like most of my peers, I really don't have money for lessons right now. (Oh, and did I mention I'm getting laid off at work soon?) However, I've worked for Cathy for like a decade (not exaggerating), so she lets me do extra work to pay for lessons, which is fabulous.
Yep, this pony can jump. <3