I did get Izzy turned out to play with another mare this morning. Cathy was turning the other horse out, so I grabbed Izzy and scooted in there, too. I hope that helped... anyways, after letting them run a while, I took Izzy back to her breakfast and finished up my work. (Yay working off board!)
By the time we tacked up to ride, Izzy and I were the only ones there. I like that. I really enjoy riding by myself and just worrying about Izzy and I without having to make sure I'm staying out of other people's way. I lunged Izzy and really just let her do her thing. I didn't ask her to focus and do transitions or anything. She was fine and pretty quiet.
She was reasonable about mounting, and off we went... I'm really trying to mentally relax. Maybe I should take up yoga or something. ;-) Basically, I read an excellent article in Practical Horseman yesterday about using the forward energy of a "naughty" horse and just going with it. So I did. We walked, trotted and cantered. We did lots of transitions. In the canter especially, I worked on doing a small, semi-collected circle, then letting her go forward on a much larger circle, then bringing her back again.
I think that one of our biggest problems is that I really like to ride sensitive horses and Izzy is only just so-so on the sensitive scale. I'm used to just shifting my weight to get a response instead of actually making a move and if something goes wrong, I'm used to just waiting for the horse to come back to me mentally rather than proactively forcing the horse to focus. Since Izzy needs the proactive ride, that's where I'm working on improving.
At least for today, it worked. We had out first good ride since last weekend. Was it the calm atmosphere? My fabulous riding? The ulcer medication? The heat of the day? I have no idea. Probably all of the above, except the fabulousness. It was an ok ride.