Saturday, June 4, 2011

Leaps and Bounds!

I know, my titles are overly enthusiastic lately. Sorry to all you normal people who are annoyed by over-the-top happiness (I would usually be in your group), but it's been a really great week in so many equine ways.

Friday, I went to pilates in the morning. Ouch. Love what a good workout it is and how it helps me be a more informed rider, but it's hard. Then, Izzy and I went out on the track to accomplish two objectives:
1) Ride outside the arena
2) Work on cardiac fitness
Ever since my last jump school this week, I just seem to be riding a wave of confidence. It's fun how overcoming one fear (jumping) helps me work towards overcoming others, like riding outside the arena.

We had a great ride on the track. I had all kinds of excuses why I didn't need to go there--after all, there were irritating roofers working and it might spook Izzy.

Then I pulled up my big girl panties, rode over the scary bridge, and off we went. All told, we trotted 4 miles and cantered 2. My body is absolutely killing me today, but I was still riding on the high of conquering the scary roofers.

Soooo.... I went out, pulled out the western tack, and then wondered if my sore lil' body could heave that massive saddle up on my horse.
Fortunately, the answer was yes.

I specifically wanted the western tack because we were going on a mission. That's right folks--we were riding out into the hayfield ALONE.

It took a while to get Izzy to cross the bridge, but I was way too sore to get off and lead her over it. Then we made one walking lap around the track, and headed into the hay field. I really should have taken a picture--it's ready to cut, I think. Most of it is belly deep on her, but there's a narrow rut at the side that is a little shallower.

We rode down that until she got edgy, then back to the track and take a lap, then back out into the field. It took a second lap around the track (walking) but all of a sudden, we both started to enjoy it. She watched the birds and distant cars and listened to noises. I loosened my death grip on the saddle horn as we walked briskly to the end of the field. Once we got to my target spot, we stopped, had a look around, Izzy grabbed a few bites to eat, and we marched back.

Funny thing: her biggest spook the whole time was back in the barn area at a horse in the indoor. What a goof!
Brave cowboy horse.

Again, at the root of this problem is me. I started riding at age 9 and didn't go on a proper trail ride until I was 19. Not making that up. So, when problems come up in the arena, I do have some experience to drawn on and a reserve of confidence. It's just that once I'm outside those walls, I have nothing.

Good thing she's so freaking awesome.


  1. Great work - I never mind hearing about successes!

  2. Good for you! You'll have so much more fun with Izzy if you can get her out and about.

  3. What a cute western pony :) It's funny how such little successes in riding can make you feel so good!

  4. niiice :)

    I always loooove getting out of the arena. I hate arenas. probably because I rode out side all year round till I was 19, ha.

  5. That's great. I think we often find that we we make up our minds to do something, the horses will mostly just go along with it.

  6. I, too, was a stuck-in-an-arena girl. And, yes, venturing outside the ring can be quite terrifying, both for us and for our horses (who are not accustomed to being worked outside the big sandbox). That's why I'm leading Salem around the groves and the street, so I can hopefully get him more bomb-proof.
    GFlad you and Izzy had such a great ride!


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