We started out trying to get her to stretch and work long and low. She was sticky and not forward at all. I kept at it. It's frustrating sometimes. I feel like I have to use my whip constantly, which is not the goal. I do a progression of aids--leg, cluck, whip--but at the beginning of our sessions, leg gets me nowhere. By the end, she's reasonably responsive. I just want her magically fixed now. Is that so bad? ;-)
I finally got her sort of stretching and we moved into the trot, then quickly into canter. I've noticed that canter tends to loosen her up, so I try to canter early, then come back to trot and work in it for a while, then return to a better canter later on. After a circuit or two of the arena, we dropped back to trot. Izzy remained her slightly sluggish self as we trotted by the end of the arena that is right next to the road. A car drove by. This happens all the time and never bothers her, so I thought nothing of it...
...until she started madly galloping and bucking down the long side of the arena towards the open gate! I lost a stirrup but kept me reins. I manage to snap my head back into the game about halfway down the long side, yelled at her, got her head up as she bucked one last time, and halted to regain my stirrup. As soon as I was situated, we trotted off. Then cantered. My logic was this:
1) If Izzy thinks trying to buck Aimee off is a good idea, then
2) Izzy may continue to run until her legs fall off.
We cantered and cantered and cantered. We worked on our transitions. We shortened and lengthened. We practiced staying balanced through the turns. We did big loops and small loops. We practiced going forward and keeping out balance up. Then we changed directions and did the whole thing the other way. By the time we were done, my black horse out in the bright sun was covered in sweat. She'd even foamed a little bit. She was definitely not worried about cars anymore.
And the funny thing? I wasn't worried about her. I wasn't even mad. I felt like we'd come to a good solution and I was pleased with my ability to stay on.
I know this probably sounds weird in light of the story I just told, but I'm wondering if I should do anything for Izzy, specifically as it relates to her energy levels. Since forward is so hard for us, part of me whats to give her some sort of energy supplement to induce forward. However, the other part of me wonders if maybe this is just who she is and besides, she obviously has enough energy to get some mighty bucks in on a pretty day. Any thoughts?