Monday, April 5, 2010

Where I Don't Throttle the Pony

The past week, every time I've gotten off of Izzy, I've just been angry. Sometimes it was because she was acting up, but most of the time it's because of other things in my life that are getting to me. Either way, riding was not fun. I know it's not always going to be fun, but I think it should be fun most of the time or it's really not worth having as a very, very expensive hobby.

Today was fun. It was windy and cold and rainy, but the outdoor arena was just barely dry enough to ride in. I turned Izzy loose to run since I didn't get her out yesterday, and she just barely cantered around. Weird. I was expecting major bucking and squealing since she had to stand around for, you know, one whole day. Anyways. We tacked up and went for a ride. As I mentioned before, the weather was awful, but I think we were both just so happy to be outside that it didn't matter.

I thought about my comments from yesterday and I realized that y'all were right. We do need to work on developing more consistent contact, but we can't have that if she isn't forward. Today, I decided to focus on engagement, and oh boy did I have it! I didn't worry about contact very much and just rode forward. I looked at where we were going instead of what we were doing and I realized that Izzy is far more responsive to my aids than I thought she was. (I just needed to get my head out of my butt to notice.)

We did a lot of trotting and cantering. Izzy wanted to go forward and I had no objections. We probably tore around the arena a bit faster than was safe, but I think we both needed it.

Funny thing, though. After we blew off steam, Izzy was far more accepting of the contact and even quieter about listening to me. After we cooled out at the walk for a bit, I asked her for a bit of turn on the forehand each way, and she gave it. No fussing, no hassle. I kept her straight and barely even used my legs. I just turned my body and she turned underneath me.

Of course, that was an excellent stopping point. I got off, and when I went to untack, I found something else that made me happy (and no, it wasn't Izzy's constant cribbing whenever I leave her). The new padding arrangement we tried today worked! No extra rubbing!! Yay SB and Izzy!!

Ok, I really should go. I want to read all of your blogs and comment and I need to learn my tests for Wednesday.


  1. Awesome!!!! Don't you love it when you find something and it works!!!!! Maybe Izzy needs a different warm up to what you normally do to help get her attention and focus on the work at hand?

  2. Usually when I have trouble, it's because we lost "forward." Glad you and Izzy had a meeting of the minds on the subject and the outcome was successful.

    It's always a great day when you have a great ride.

  3. Sounds great - sometimes just galloping around for a bit can loosen things up!

  4. That's great! I fid with MOST of the youngins that I ride (particularly the fancy wb types) it's soooo tempting when they're so big and conformationally capable and pretty to ask them to shape up and go nice, round and quiet. What they need though is the push push push from behind into a soft hand so that they can find their place and their balance. Babies get annoyed with the tedious work. Good for you for trying something new! It's all about figuring out what works, sometimes they need more GO and sometimes they need more SLOW, it all depends!

  5. Good luck!! Glad that you had a good ride. I have that feeling too of having a very, very expensive hobby!


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