Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Actual Pictures This Time

Hm... I'm trying to upload pictures again. I have no idea what blogger thought was wrong, but maybe it's fixed now.

Here's Izzy and I just hanging out.

Ok, so my friend (M) and I went out to see the wondermare. It was late afternoon and 85f outside, which feels hot right now. Hence, we had a super lazy ride. Seriously--I just barely went w/t/c. She was really quiet and easy going. Nothing like a hot day to calm a mare down, eh?

Then I handed her off to M. She used to have a horse (and I was SOOOO jealous of her when I was a kid), but life got in the way when she grew up.

As you can see, Izzy was incredibly good. I felt almost like a proud mommy, watching Izzy go around. She was calm, quiet, and forward, even offering to take contact and carry herself.

Plus, I had the added bonus of getting to watch my own horse go. As someone who's never been able to afford training, that was fabulous.

Izzy even cantered for her. When M rode last fall, Izzy was greener (obviously) and generally refused to even trot. Not so this time!! They were happy and confident in all three gaits.

Honestly, from the enormous amount of pictures we took, Izzy's dressage actually looked better when M rode than when I did. Go figure, right? I think more Sprinkler-butt-kicking is in order.

We even hosed Izzy off at the end. It was remarkable--she didn't pitch her usual fit or anything. She just stood still while M fed treats and I scrubbed. Huh. Maybe we'll finally be able to do water without a battle this summer. That would be nice.

The next day, we came out again. It was cooler (and earlier!) and we set up a jump. Only one problem: by the time Izzy was tacked up, the barn owners had started irrigating for the
first time this year. Water came flowing down the ditch by the arena and Izzy was not so sure it was a good idea.

I mean, a girl could drown in that massive ditch.

For serious mom.

Probably shouldn't stand this close.

What if one of those falling house that attacked poor Tucker came after us? We could get squashed to death -and- drowned.

Ok, fine. Don't say I didn't warn you.

After we got over the ditch drama, it was time to ride.

Well, actually, it was time for conformation shots because she wasn't all hot and sweaty yet.

Not the best conformation shot ever, but I love this picture of Izzy. She looks so graceful and animated and look at that muscular development!

I mean, she even has a neck now. Her warmblood daddy means she has the genetics to develop one, but her tb mommy means she isn't required to have one.

After a nice warm up, we headed over the tiny cavaletti. Both of us felt a tiny bit bored.

Just remember, for me, bored is good. It's vastly, hugely better than scared, which is how I used to feel all the time.

Ears pricked, eyes up and forward. We were ready to move on.

Teeny tiny cross rail. That is the next step. Izzy was fine. I was fine. We trotted and cantered in and felt happy, forward and comfortable.

I prepared myself and M set up the jump for us. We were going to do it.

JUMP!!! Izzy was amazing. I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Yeah, it's just a little 2' vertical, but I was so comfortable.

At one point, Izzy started kinda taking the bit and rushing to the base of the jump, then flinging herself over. I re-evaluated and realized that 1) I wasn't asking her to carry a forward enough pace which meant that 2) I was nervous coming in to the jump because she was behind my leg and could stop so 3) I was clamping my legs on and chasing her over the jump. As soon as I rode forward and loosened my death grip, she went just fine.

I am so proud of this picture... Yeah, George Morris could point out a ton of things wrong (too much grip with knee which is driving the toes out at an absurd angle, base of support too far out of saddle which means I jumped ahead a little, fuzzy girth is distracting, hooves aren't painted mane needs to be shortened), but it's just Izzy and I, jumping, and not terrified. Winning!!

After her spectacular performance, Izzy went back to being calm happy pony.

Where iz cookeez?

I decapitated M here, but it's just such a lovely shot of Izzy that I'm sure no one will hold it against me.

Yep. You can say it. She's the most gorgeous and amazing horse in this neck of the desert and I'm incredibly lucky to own her.

Though in truth, she probably owns me far more than I own her.

Such is life.


  1. Congrats on several successful schooling days! Sounds like phenom progress to me. Go Izzy-mare!

  2. i loooove the pics! The last one is gorgeous :) G. Morris is so silly, its like he thinks even at home for schooling everyone should be perfect. gotta love 'em. As a newly afraid jumper, congrats on the 'jumps' in confidence! Get the pun? hahaha

  3. You guys always look so good. Second shot is my favorite.

  4. You & Izzy look gorgeous! I only hope my girl grows up to look like this under saddle and jumping. Riva is turning 4 this summer and sometimes get down on myself that we are not farther along - I forget that she is so very young.
    Keep the pics and posts going :)

  5. Awesome! Love the pictures and you guys look great. Izzy looks gorgeous as always :)

  6. Woooohooo for jumping and confidence! Izzy looks fab.

  7. Yay! Sounds like you've had a great few days. (Very glad, by the way, that there are no houses falling in your neck of the woods. The drowning, however, is a serious concern and Tucker has taken it under advisement.) Sure you can pick apart that jumping picture if you want to (we can all do that with every photo) but there are lots of great points too: your eye is up, your release is good, your back is flat, and Izzy's square and pushing off nicely from behind. I'd say that's an overall success!

  8. Wow! Your friend should come more often so we can get such great photos of you and Izzy. Then you can't pretend like you aren't looking as fabulous as you are. Really what great progress you have made! Inspiring.

  9. Good going with the jump! You should be proud.

    And Izzy is a beautiful girl, that's for sure. I am so glad you were able to get some pictures of yourself riding her. It's not always easy to find a willing photographer. Nice job.

  10. You know I love these pictures. GM be damned (and I love him), your confidence comes through in these pictures, as does Izzy's happiness in her work. Beautiful!

  11. You and Izzy look great and isn't confidence SUCH a key to success! She makes that 2' look really big to me! :)

  12. No idea if relates to you guys, but I had gone through a period with my first eventer where he started to rush, although it had never been his thing (before or since). I realized I was asking him to stay on the vertical too close to the fence, and he felt a little panicky because he couldn't move his head to the position he needed to to be able to actually see the fence.

    Horses will lift their head in the last two to three strides for this. A lot of horses that rush, you notice the head shoots up or tilts... trying to see the fence?


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