Yes, that's right. More French! This time, the horse went sideways. ;-)
Fortunately, the other morning cleaner showed up this morning, so I was off the hook (but I did have my muck boots). Instead, Cathy and I took our horses over to the neighbor's outdoor arena. Cathy did because her horse HATES the Doom Bubble, and the nieghbor's outdoor was relatively ok, despite all the rain. I did it because it's more fun to ride with other people, and hey, it's a new experience for Izzy and I.
Lunging was a mess. A nightmare, even. Izzy is still in a covered pen, so she doesn't get to stretch her legs a lot during the day. That means that if she has a day off, like yesterday, she is completely nuts when I get her out. Rearing, bucking, spinning, you name it, she did it. I can tell my confidence is improving, because it didn't bother me to watch her. I just waited until she was done, and then we went on.
When she'd had her fill of silliness, we mounted up. We did a lot of transitions through the halt to really get her listening to me. I need her to be able to focus on what I'm asking no matter where we are. And then, we did something we've never really done before: a leg yield. Yay! The horse went sideways!! More specifically, I focused on my body being correctly positioned to influence her, and I asked her to move her hips over more than her shoulders. It felt wonderful!
Then I had Cathy watch us, because I was so proud that we were doing something cool-ish. She had me do a small half-halt every time I asked Izzy to move over, to check her forward momentum. It did help, but it also confused Izzy at first. Poor pony. I also tried to incorporate a concept I heard about this summer; every time Izzy did something really well, I dropped to a walk and let her stretch and think about it. Good halt? Walk and stretch. Nice leg yield? Walk and stretch. If she focused on something outside the arena, I did pick her up immediately and go back to work. I wanted her attention on where we were. The breaks were only 10ish strides, but I want her to understand that she did something well.
The other change I tried to make was that I realized I need to keep better track of time. Iknow it takes me about an hour and forty-five minutes to groom, lunge, ride, cool out, and re-blanket, but I'm not sure what the time distribution is. I had my phone on me today to check the time, but I completely forgot to look at it. Oh well. Next time, I guess.
And here are some pictures of Izzy from earlier this summer. I should get some current ones, but she's all fuzzy...
This is back when everything was still white. I need to do some serious washing.
And this is her cute pony face. <3