Thursday, September 17, 2009

She's a Princess in Her Own Mind

Keeping in mind the advice about lengthening attention spans, I decided to work Miss Izzy a little harder today. We've had several days in a row where I got on and she was so good that after about 10 minutes I just got off again. While I definitely believe those days are a part of training, so are the days where we ride for longer than that. Besides, I'm leaving tomorrow morning to be out of town for three days, so she'll get a nice break.

My plan for the day was something like: get her stretching and bending in the warm up. Do some big trot circles to get her going forward. Work on trot/walk/trot transitions. Work on trot/canter/trot transitions. Do a little turn on the forehand/turn on the haunches, and then finish up with some nice walk trot transitions so she doesn't think she's done after she canters. While executing this plan, I wanted to work on remaining loose and supple in my body, because I know that my stiffness will make her stiff and resistant. (See? We're finally incorporating some dressage principles.)

Sounds reasonable, right?

It ended up being a pretty hard workout, but we did pretty much stick to the plan. However, there are things that Izzy has been doing that I've been letting her get away with. Today, I decided that it's not ok anymore if she just wants to run straight through her shoulder. She does need to respect/listen to my leg and seat rather than just try to lean on my hands. She did not think those things were nearly as important as I did. Our transitions weren't as pretty as they've been other days, but by the end of the ride, she was doing them. We did a lot of exaggerated bend/counterbend type stuff, with a little leg yielding to get her to pay attention to my legs. I think I'll be sore tomorrow and I'm sure she'll appreciate the day off, but I'm glad we did what we did. I want her to actually start listening to me now.

And my saddle is supposed to come today. I'm pretty psyched.


  1. Good going. That "dressage stuff" is important for hunters too, trust me. My multi champion hunter had a ton of dressage training and that made all the difference in the world in the show ring.

    Good too to start making some demands on that "young" brain of Izzy's. Challenging her to do things right makes her mind work and that will keep her focused.

  2. Sounds like you got a lot accomplished today, I'm sure it was a really satisfying ride. Hope the saddle arrives and it's a perfect fit!

  3. Cool I'm happy for you that you're getting your saddle soon! Also great work out with Izzy, I'm sure just increasing little by little of what is expected will do the trick. :)


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