Ok, it wasn't that dark.
Izzy and I braved the Bubble of Doom alone this morning. It was our first time trying that since our lesson several weeks ago. To my surprise, Izzy was quite good. She was a little more worried than normal, but not nearly as worried as I expected her to be without another horse in there.
She actually settled in rather rapidly and we did a lot of spiral in/spiral outs, figure eights, and even introduced some basic leg yielding. Because we were alone, I was able to take her down the long side of the arena and work on straightness a little bit, too. I tried to really focus on what I was doing and how it was affecting her. When she was stiff, I loosened up my shoulders and bent in and out, both with my body and hers. I paid attention to where my seat bones were and how they changed her balance. I tried to keep my shoulders back and my chest open. I was more deliberate about where I was going. I've realized that I spend entirely too much time letting her bounce off the wall and not directing where she's going.
As Mark Rashid says, I need to take responsibility for speed, direction, and something else... Kate would know.
All in all, it was an excellent ride. I really felt like we made progress. The more aware I am of what I'm doing, the better Izzy responds.
ETA: Did I mention that I re-measured Izzy last week, and she grew an inch? That's right. She's 16.0 hands now instead of 15.3. Who would have thought? Also, she was just stocking up. There was no swelling at all after our ride this morning.