Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Some Things

So. The never-ending dilemma that is Izzy goes on. We had a dressage lesson today in which I realized I suck at riding (read: go to my hands too quickly and give up on my seat, resulting in her ignoring my seat most of the time anyways). We did use the new saddle and a different padding arrangement, but I don't even know what to think about it. I'm ordering this pad (from a cheaper company) and hoping that 1) Izzy will like it 2) It will solve our rubbing problem and 3) because we have a treeless saddle, it won't create pressure points alongside the withers. #3 is conjecture (as are 1 & 2, I guess). I know this type of pad is recommended against in the Pain Free Back and Saddle Fit Book because it can create pressure points, but the book also says that treeless can relieve some pressure points. It's really hard to read between the lines of books on treed saddles and try to adapt solid advice for something we're not really using (ie, a tree) to fit a princess pony.

If Izzy asks you, tell her the pad cost oodles of money. She likes things that cost oodles of money.

In other news, I've been putting in some quality riding time on Cassie, Izzy's mom and an OTTB. I love her. I always have. She is completely ruining me. I enjoy aspects of Izzy's warmblood side, but more and more I'm realizing that I'm just more of a TB person. I love their sensitivity. I love their personality. I love their willingness. I love their athletic ability. I even love the stupid things they do at shows. (And yes, I know all about those.)

I know I'm struggling with Izzy right now and I know Cassie is basically an ol' broke mare I can just jump on and do anything, but it's hard. I mean... I'm really out of practice at jumping. Cassie LOVES jumping, so I've been riding her 4-5 times a week, partially to help Cathy by getting her ready to lease out, but mostly so I can practice. We do a day of dressage, a day of dressage with a few jumps, then two days of dressage and then another jump day. It's amazing practice. Cassie is so light and forward and responsive and willing. There's no "I don't want to" temper tantrum. There is precious little fussing. For the jumping, I just try to stay out of her way and focus on my flaws and she goes. She doesn't care what the jump looks like or where it is.

Sigh. I miss her...

On Izzy's really bad days, I scheme about people I know who are connected at the track. I'm thinking mare, 15.3-16.2, color not important, chrome not important. There have got to be dozens of them. Then I remind myself that I really do love Izzy and there is ABSOLUTELY no way I can even dream of affording two horses and I don't want to sell Izzy...

Someone make me love horses that are only half TB again.

Oh. And Izzy and I are riding in a dressage clinic this weekend. I'm hoping to find someone with nothing better to do early one morning to come take pictures, but don't hold your breath.


  1. That pad may do the trick. Hard to say, since I'm not there. *sigh* (Bit out of it too, as I have a cold....yuck.)

    I love my TB's, but I once had a teeny tiny trainer who rode a huge warmblood mare. She said the secret was not to let the horse ever go off more than a light aid. Her theory was that even the warmbloods could be made light and responsive.

    At least it's something to strive for!

  2. I know you are a good rider! Because people who are really bad do not admit it! You will have a great clinic this weekend!

  3. I believe dressage is actually French for "make me feel like a bad rider". Just kidding (sort of). People who never feel as though they suck at riding are dangerous, because they usually suck the most and have no clue. You never stop learning, and that's what makes you a good rider.

    Perhaps Izzy needs a Warmblood-ectomy? Or, you could just concentrate on the good aspects of her personality and ignore the bad. But I like the Warmblood-ectomy idea better. ;-)

  4. In all honestly, if you'd like the bridle I'll sell it to you on installments. I know where you blog! Also. I know what it's like.

  5. You're not a bad rider - you're the rider you are right now, with all the strengths and weaknesses you have, and with more to learn, as is true of all of us. If you tend to use your hands too much, try doing exercises (on the lunge if necessary) where you can't use your hands at all - it'll do wonders for your seat and legs. Also, try using only your seat, legs, weight, energy level and breathing to cue your horse - no hands at all. It's possible to do all the transitions, including downwards ones, with no hands at all - try it out.

  6. Don't doubt yourself!

    Also, I completely understand where you're coming from about the warmblood/tb thing. I rode an amazing, talented and beautiful TB/Hano x for the past four years and when I was ready to buy my own horse I decided not to buy him. Something just wasn't right. I bought my lovely OTTB and have been so happy with my decision. There are traits I miss in the WBx that Lucy does not posses so as always, there are pros and cons to both sides. I think your mare is super flashy and talented and you are a good team. You're just in a rut now :)

  7. My former horse (swede/TB cross) and my friend's Hanoverian/TB crosses (much more old fashioned Hannos than what you see now)... the more they looked like the TB, the more they acted like a warmblood (mellowness). The more they were plump and/or less fit, and looked like a warmblood, the more they acted like TBs! Go figure...

  8. I have been using that pad on Miss Promise for 10 years now. She loves it, (I love it, too) -- it works really well with my saddle, and has eliminated any pressure points and soreness that developed without it. I think you'll have good luck with it. :)

  9. Oh, and I forgot to takes a long, long, LONG time for warmbloods (even crosses) to mature, both mentally and physically.

    Promise (hano x canadian tb) grew until she was 6 and then filled out until she was 8.

    She outgrew 4 saddles in 2 years. One of them, she outgrew in 6 months.

    She was a nightmare at 4, 5, 6 and 7.

    At 8, she started to settle down a bit. She literally did not get a working brain cell until she was 9, almost 10.

    Now, at nearly 16...I couldn't ask for a better horse.

    And believe me, I know where you're coming from with the temper tantrums, the rearing, etc. For nearly 2 years, I got bucked off *every* *single* time I got on.

    It is worth the work, and the wait. And I can't tell you how glad I am that I didn't sell her when the going got tough.

  10. Shannon made me laugh and I love the way Kate explained it. You are totally not a bad rider! And I totally know how you feel. The clinic will re-energize you. Just know that you are super lucky to have the warmblood my dear. Lots of little (and big) girls would kill to be in your shoes!


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