Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ask Me How My Lesson Was


Yeah, that good. At one point, Cathy asked us to canter and Izzy and I rolled into a forward, fun, balanced canter that probably looked a lot more like a hand gallop than anything. When Cathy mentioned concepts like "half halt" and "bring her back", I said, "But we're both feeling good!", though I did follow her directions. (I mean, that's the point of lessons, right? Getting an outside perspective and allowing them to direct your training.)

It felt so good. The whole thing. I've ridden Izzy the past three days, but I hadn't really asked her to do anything. I was just getting reacquainted with my sound, sane horse. Now I was asking her to step underneath herself, balance, turn, go straight, all those fun things. We even finished the lesson jumping. Izzy leaped over a crossrail. Ever since her feet have felt better, she's been trying to pull me toward the jumps again and my oh my does she feel better.

When we were finally working harmoniously, we headed to about a 2' vertical. Cathy had me really focus on waiting for the jumping while keeping Izzy steady underneath me. Basically, I need to sit still and do nothing. It's hard. When we landed, I would then leg yield Izzy off my left leg, since she likes to kind of dive that way. One time I did take advantage of her dive to see how fast of a jumper turn we could do. Answer: pretty fast. :-D

Then we headed for the previously-scary barrel jump. I put my leg on, sat a bit behind the motion, and just let Izzy go to it. Cathy has coached me on just sitting there and saying with my posture "You can go. You can not go. You just have to make a nice approach." It's a low stress way to approach the jump and it works well for most horses. Well... Miss Izzy is no longer worried by the barrels. She leaped over it every time I pointed her at it. (Cathy told me we were clearing it with about a foot to spare.) I have a sneaking suspicion that her earlier objections to the barrel jump were because her tummy hurt and her feet were sore and so jumping wasn't super fun. Now that we've resolved that, she's amazing.

Some pictures:
Izzy's fancy new wraps. Still loving them.
Izzy's babysitting face. Cathy was riding a fancy young horse who was having a cow about some other horse leaving. Hence, we came in to look after him.
Izzy looking sound, balanced, and happy.
Cathy riding the fancy young horse. That's his walk. For serious. He's amazing.


  1. I feel your smile in every single word!! It is amazing how correcting some physical issues like that can change a horse so quickly, but when the horse is as honest as Izzy, it's pretty obvious.

    Learn to listen to her through the rest of her career. Whenever her performance starts to falter--if it ever does again--look for the physical cause first and forgive her.

    You are doing a great job!

  2. Always nice to hear about progress being made and see the pictures. When you are in the saddle, it all comes together and just "HAPPENS" and you know the feeling I am talking about, it just Rocks!

    My own mare is coming along nicely. I am looking forward to getting on her and making that connection too. It's going to be one hell of a day.


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