I rode Izzy on Monday night, our first ride in almost a week. We had to ride indoors, so it was dusty and I felt cramped in the small area, plus the footing sucks.
Plus neither of us had worked in 6 days.
I could make a whole list of excuses, but it was a totally lackluster ride. We had a few moments that were ok, but nothing worth talking about. After stewing about it all day Tuesday at work, I came up with a new plan.
So yesterday I put the jump tack on Izzy--not to jump, but just to ride around in. I put her super cute boots on and we went to the outdoor area. Solo's mom had mentioned working over variable terrain get Izzy to watch her footing more, and if the footing in the outdoor is anything right now, it's variable. (Someone tried to work it with the tractor while it was still basically a lake. Now we have ruts! And sinkholes!)
I kept Izzy on a long, loopy rein as we walked, trotted, and cantered around. I focused on keeping her forward. We went through the ruts and over the sink holes. I tried to adjust my position so that I felt secure just trotting around.
And slowly, things started to change. With no rein contact, I had to ride more with my body. Stephanie is always telling me that it's ok if Izzy looks--that means she's attentive, which is good. When Izzy looked at something, I kept her going forward and just turned my body the opposite direction to make sure she was still tuned in to me. She was.
I started putting the reins and whip in one hand, then reaching my other hand up over head or back, to allow myself to move my body without disrupting our balance. Then I'd switch hands while Izzy just kept motoring along.
After I felt like we'd gone forward enough, I dropped Izzy back to walk and we wandered the whole barn area. Around the indoor, past the dry lots, across the road, over the bridge, around the track. I felt more relaxed and in tune with her than I have in two weeks.
On the agenda for today is a trail rider with a fellow boarder who has a nice quiet horse. Watch for the reappearance of the western warmblood.