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.