Monday, January 18, 2010

A Little Craziness

Katie came out to ride again today. I warned her that Izzy has been a little weird about saddling up, but just to prove me wrong it seemed), Izzy was totally fine. It's still too sloppy to ride outside, so we trekked over to the Doom Bubble. I hadn't ridden since Friday, but Izzy was quiet all week.

Apparently, she was feeling the effects of being cooped up Saturday and Sunday. She exploded on the lunge line, complete with galloping, bucking, and tearing around like a maniac. I wished I could let her loose, but I'm terrified that she'd kick at the wrong moment and puncture the bubble, which would be bad. Also expensive.

So instead she ran like a complete maniac both directions. She didn't really spook at anything, and she wasn't bothered by Cathy taking other horses in and out of the arena intermittently, which was good. When I had her listening on the lunge, we stopped to get on. She was decent. I just showed Katie what we've been doing, and I got to break down all the things that I do wrong that hamper her. It's like blogging, only in person. Even just that helped. Because I know she can see what I'm talking about, I can explain to her what I'm doing wrong that makes Izzy tight or resistant, or whatever.

After watching us for a while (and seeing no further fireworks), Katie took a turn. She demonstrated what she thought Izzy needed to be doing, and talked me through what she was doing with her. She complimented me on improving Izzy's steering and noticed how much more forward she is now. Because Izzy is more forward, she wants me to shorten up my reins and take a slightly stronger contact, and then ride into it. Izzy tends to curl up, and this will help her reach forward through her body without dropping her head as an evasion. I did notice in the pictures Cathy took of Izzy and I on Friday, that when I thought she was soft, she was actually curling, so it looks like another bad habit that I've allowed. Whoops.

She also had Izzy doing trot/halt/trot transitions to improve her responsiveness to the leg. She commented that Izzy seems to understand what is being asked of her, but doesn't really believe that what is asked is what is wanted. This seems to be a bit of an elaboration on a theme for me... I need to decide what to do and specifically ask for it. This will improve Izzy confidence.

All in all, it went well. I'm sorry for the lack of pictures... I didn't get to them today, but I hope to tomorrow. I wanted to take pictures of Izzy and Katie, but I forgot to bring my camera. Maybe next time you can see pictures of what Izzy looks like when someone really good rides her. It's impressive.

PS When Katie was cooling Izzy out, we tried to see how big of an overstep she could have in the walk. It was like 6"! Wow.


  1. Oh, the curling up can be tricky. Sounds as if Katie has some good advice to follow on that one.

    And the exercises to get her forward off the leg are good as well. I have similar issues with Tucker, so once I'm really riding again, it's something I have to work on. Transitions, transitions, transition!! And always ride forward into the half halt on the downwards.

    It was a good day all around from the sound if it.

  2. Isn't it nice to have friends who are great riders and are willing to help you? That's one of the reasons I <3 my barn.
    Sounds like you and Izzy are really making some progress.


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