Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Minding Her Ps and Qs

What a serene looking picture.

I was scheduled to have a jumping lesson today, so I was pretty bummed about needing to have Steph take Izzy out on a hack to establish a little sanity.

She started by warming Izzy up in the jump arena. As I expected, Izzy was completely free and forward and happy. Armed with spurs and a whip, they decided to go out and have a little hack. When they came back, I was still on the schedule to have a lesson. WOOHOO!!

Devon, my lesson buddy, warms up pony. In our Finding Nemo universe, he has been entitled "guppy".

Nothing like a lesson with a pony clubber on a pony to remind me that I am -almost- ready to ride with competent children.

Unfortunately, I was not quick enough to get out and see Izzy's hack, but it wasn't all butterflies and flowers. Izzy pulled her "backing and running sideways" stunt and Steph made her back up the hill. And keep going. Backwards.

Funny thing, Izzy figured out pretty quickly that it was a stupid idea to do that. She apparently behaved herself otherwise, but Steph said we would talk about it and she would give me some tools to ride through--particularly, she wants us to stay at the trot when going away so that I can maintain Izzy's momentum and she doesn't have a moment of suspension that she could use to "freeze".

I'm looking forward to doing more with it, because it is killing me not to be able to go canter Izzy up a mountain right now. Dumb mare.

Anyways, the lesson was a total blast, though Ms Mare was a little shocked about having to continue to work. Steph is having me work on getting comfortable actually riding forward to fences. It feels to me like I'm madly galloping around the arena and careening around the corners, but she assures me that I'm barely cantering. Sadly, she's right. I also am focusing on keeping my upper body and seat quiet so that I can ride forward from my leg and not interfere with her.

I apologize for the lack of jumping pictures. Hopefully, that will be remedied next week. Cross your fingers for the return of the amazing Ellie.


  1. Glad she could sort izzy out :) Sounds like your jumping is coming along quite well. Congrats!! Can't wait for some pics.

  2. "Nothing like a lesson with a pony clubber on a pony to remind me that I am -almost- ready to ride with competent children."

    Very funny! Riding is always a humbling experience. Only the truly dedicated (obsessed) will stick with it! Great post. :)

  3. I can't wait to come out and take pix again.... get ready ;)

  4. Responding on your blog since you'll probably see it faster:

    My youtube is: and it'll have the video of us jumping 3'6"! I'm still amazed that I didn't die. We attempted 3'9" but 3'9" on a 4ft standard looks a lot like an impossibly tall obstacle so I didn't want to jump it and... well... you gotta be willing to throw your heart over a fence that big and let the horse know it's OK, because you'll be there on the other side. You have to WANT to jump that jump more than your horse does. And I didn't have that frame of mind at all. :P My frame of mind was more like "NO NO NO NO NO NO NEVER"

    Like I said on my blog, the full story will come... soon... maybe tomorrow. It'll probably be impossibly long. Oh well.

  5. Ok, one more time...Did you ever try ulcer meds on Izzy? I only say this because most of Tucker's unwillingness to go forward changed after I treated him. He was OK in the arena, but "Ballistic" on the trail. Apparently, the added stress/anxiety of going out to new worlds made his tummy hurt. Just a thought here.

    Still, I'm glad Steph got your naughty girl out there for a ride. Good tactic about the backing. It usually works in the end.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  6. Fingers crosse!!!

    Going on with what Jean said, I know a lot of people who supplement with U-7, and I have with a few young racers. It made a HUGE difference in their performance. Ulcer meds are very common at the track (and in competitve show jumping barns), ranitidine and omeprazole along with the really expensive treatments. U-7 worked great though because it was cheap, daily, the horses like it, and if you have any powdered supplements it helps it bind because it is a liquid.

  7. Jean--Izzy has been treated for ulcers and has ongoing support in that area. She is getting daily turnout plus exercise. It's possible that it's ulcers, but I'm not just going to jump to that. Izzy is a naturally willful and quai-lazy mare, and so her behavior is not outside what I would expect for her temperament at this point. Thanks for your concerns, though! Different opinions keep me thinking.


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