I picked up a good friend to come riding with me yesterday, so you lucky readers get more pictures of the wondermare and her slightly-less-wonder rider. Izzy was feeling much better yesterday (she was a little footsore Monday) and she was happy to go forward in our newly-worked arena.
We broke out the jump tack and worked on responsiveness to minimal aids.
As you can see, I need to be eating better and running more.
Ha! True. (Is it bad when I laugh at my own posts while I'm typing them?)
Izzy was super good and relaxed. I've picked up lunging her before every ride regardless because 1) it helps me see how she's going and 2) it makes her work harder. Since she's out on rich spring grasses, she's developed a bit of flab and I want her working more.
We set our first oxer of the year. Wow, that sounds lame. It's true, though. I'm finally overcoming my crazy jumping phobia, for which I think Izzy is very grateful. After all, she really does enjoy jumping.
First we had it set as a low cross rail. I know my goals post talked about related distances, so I would just like to point out that there is a placing pole out in front of the oxer. ;-) That sort of counts.
I will drag the rest of the standards out to the outdoor arena this month so we can have actual related jumps.
As you can see, Izzy was brilliant. We trotted in a couple of times, and then my friend set it up.
We cantered in and...
Ok, maybe not that magnificent, but look how good we look.
My lower leg is so much better than even just two weeks ago when M took pictures. I felt totally relaxed and confident jumping yesterday. Since you can see how much effort Izzy has to put in to do this (none), I'm thinking we're going to add some complexity, but start moving the heights up, too. We both like it. Why not?
After my ride, we trooped out the our old boarding barn so my friend could ride. She's a minor, so we're not using names, but I'd just like to talk about her a little. She doesn't have a ton of formal training--just enough lessons to keep her heels down and shoulders back--but she has such a natural feel for horses that it's just fun to watch.
Here's the horse she loves:
Ellie is a difficult ride at best. She's an opinionated redhead. If you pull on her, she will run away with you, period. It you're nervous, off she goes.
You get the picture. Imagine the mare charging forward. If you pick up the reins, she's gone. It takes a special person to appreciate her.
My friend is that person.
(Children. DO NOT EVER RIDE WITHOUT A HELMET EVEN IF YOUR OLDER FRIEND SUGGESTS IT AND GIVES YOU A LEG UP. IT IS BAD AND DANGEROUS.)
(In my defense, the mare was going nowhere with all that green grass in front of her.)
This pretty well sums up their relationship. That mare loves this girl. It's completely mutual. It's beautiful to see.
It's also easy to see why Ellie loves this girl so much. They do something, the she drops the reins, pats the mare, and tells her she's a good girl. She's in no hurry and Ellie just responds brilliantly.
I need to ride more like that.