Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Good Lesson

Yesterday was really frustrating for me; due to oodles of rain and snow, we had to go ride in the bubble. The lady whose lesson I was riding during was on a green horse and her steering is primitive at best on a trained horse. This translated to Izzy and I being able to work on virtually nothing because the green horse kept careening around and we had to get out of the way.

Grrr. Cranky Bandit.

Today we had a lesson and since it was abysmally cold, no one came out to ride with us. That was fabulous, except Izzy wasn't super sure she was brave enough to do the bubble by herself. Hence, there was much galloping and snorting and looking, though she didn't actually spook while I was on her. (Probably because I told her I'd picked out her replacement if she pissed me off.)

When Cathy came in, Izzy almost ran her over because she thinks Cathy will protect her from all the scary monsters and feed her cookies. This is an erroneous assumption and I'm not sure how she came to it. Anyways. I wasn't sure we'd be able to do a lesson since Izzy was such a mess.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Cathy just had us quietly start working. We were walking, but she pointed out that Izzy focuses better at the trot, so we moved up. We did a couple big circles both ways and Izzy and I were NOT communicating well. So, quietly and easily, Cathy just had us shift from big circles to doing figure eights with ten meter circles, which held both of our attention. We did a lot of bend/counterbend exercises, where we'd do correct bend for half the figure eight, then hold that bend for counterbend on the other circle. After 5 or 10 minutes, we both started settling in enough to do some simply leg yields and canter work.

It wasn't a spectacular lesson, but it was really good for me to learn some exercises that Izzy and I can work on to calm her down when she gets worried.

Did I mention that our first show is a week from now? Whee! Training 1 & 2, here we come!


  1. It can be tough finding 'middle ground' that gets the horses attention as well as the riders. Getting a horse to settle down and focus on work is one thing. Getting the rider to settle down and focus on work is another. Getting them both to settle down, focused and on the same page is a chore in and of itself.

    Cathy is sounding like a very knowledgeable talented trainer. Kudos to her and congratulations to you and Izzy in having found her. Don't be so worried about the show. You are just riding around on your same horse, in fancier clothes, in a different arena. Nobody told the horse it is a big deal, for them it's just what we make of it.

  2. Sounds like a good day!! So excited for the first show!!


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