The past week, every time I've gotten off of Izzy, I've just been angry. Sometimes it was because she was acting up, but most of the time it's because of other things in my life that are getting to me. Either way, riding was not fun. I know it's not always going to be fun, but I think it should be fun most of the time or it's really not worth having as a very, very expensive hobby.
Today was fun. It was windy and cold and rainy, but the outdoor arena was just barely dry enough to ride in. I turned Izzy loose to run since I didn't get her out yesterday, and she just barely cantered around. Weird. I was expecting major bucking and squealing since she had to stand around for, you know, one whole day. Anyways. We tacked up and went for a ride. As I mentioned before, the weather was awful, but I think we were both just so happy to be outside that it didn't matter.
I thought about my comments from yesterday and I realized that y'all were right. We do need to work on developing more consistent contact, but we can't have that if she isn't forward. Today, I decided to focus on engagement, and oh boy did I have it! I didn't worry about contact very much and just rode forward. I looked at where we were going instead of what we were doing and I realized that Izzy is far more responsive to my aids than I thought she was. (I just needed to get my head out of my butt to notice.)
We did a lot of trotting and cantering. Izzy wanted to go forward and I had no objections. We probably tore around the arena a bit faster than was safe, but I think we both needed it.
Funny thing, though. After we blew off steam, Izzy was far more accepting of the contact and even quieter about listening to me. After we cooled out at the walk for a bit, I asked her for a bit of turn on the forehand each way, and she gave it. No fussing, no hassle. I kept her straight and barely even used my legs. I just turned my body and she turned underneath me.
Of course, that was an excellent stopping point. I got off, and when I went to untack, I found something else that made me happy (and no, it wasn't Izzy's constant cribbing whenever I leave her). The new padding arrangement we tried today worked! No extra rubbing!! Yay SB and Izzy!!
Ok, I really should go. I want to read all of your blogs and comment and I need to learn my tests for Wednesday.