Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where I'm Thankful for a Naughty Pony

I had a lovely ride this morning. I got Izzy forward, and she stayed soft and balanced almost the whole time. She's still absolutely not allowed to focus both ears on something outside the arena for more than a split second before I change the subject and get her back, and I'm thinking this is something I need to keep. She's a very smart horse and the more engaged she is in what she's doing, the more we both enjoy it. I need to challenge her enough to hold her interest.

It boils down to this: the end result of Izzy rearing the other day is an increased connection between us. Twisted, but true. It's a very aggressive reminder that Izzy is not a horse I can just play around on. She is an athlete, mentally and physically, and I need to respect that by giving her something to do.

Also, while riding today, I realized that my lower right leg is way too loose. I let it slide forward when I post, and then it slaps the saddle... My Ansur is telling on me again. When I focused on keeping my legs underneath me and giving Izzy a little squeeze every time I sat, the problem went away.

Other things:

I cleaned all my tack yesterday and it's gorgeous. I love riding in clean tack. If I had a little more time, I'd probably clean it every day.

Read this post. I stumbled across this blog the other day, and I love what she has to say.


  1. The blog you refer us to puts it well...Ride the consequences, not the cause. Your tactics with Izzy of fixing her before she loses her focus and then keeping her busy are good ones.

    You'll never be able to completely cure any horse of spooking, but you certainly can learn to minimize the results. And, the better trained to the aids your horse becomes the less will happen in a spook.

    Glad you are getting some more regular riding in. Every day you are the saddle, the better Izzy will be. When we first started Tucker undersaddle, Kenny Harlow insisted that I ride him for 30 days in a row. If all it meant was that I got on and walked for two minutes that was fine. The idea was that the consistency of my being in the saddle was going to make the whole concept of riding just an everyday event in his life. The same follows for whatever training you are doing. When obeying your aids becomes just an everyday event, the horse will learn to be so much more reliable and calm about everything.

  2. Glad you had a good ride. Rearing is an unnerving thing, but you handled it well and learned something from it. You can't ask for anything better than that!

    I agree that horses can get bored and need challenges. I've ridden several horses who would get naughty if I allowed them to get bored. Some horses need to have their minds occupied or they start to think about ways to have fun at your expense!

  3. Thanks so much for linking to my blog! I say some referrals from your site and stopped in to read it- it's great! I am new to blogging but I feel like I'm meeting all these friends with similar experiences and concerns and my fellow bloggers have been so supportive. I am interested in your expererience with the Ansur- I tried one once but it was not fitted for me and think I should try one more my size. Good luck with the mare- she's lovely and I'll be reading your site regularly! Cheers! Suzanne- Tango Dressage

  4. I feel the same about Denali. I can't ever (even when I was not broken) jump on her and go. I wish I could, but she needs consistent work. She needs to feel challenged and she needs constant focus. Without those she gets bored and her mind wanders and that leads to her finding things to freak out about. She needs mental stimulation all the time to stay happy. I'm still trying to come to terms with this because I don't get out there often, and with the old knee and foot I can't ride. Thankfully she has a lessor but that just leaves me jealous. I never want to sell her, EVER, but sometimes I think I'm being unfair to her. Sorry, rambling on your blog. I guess I should do that on my own!


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