Again, only time for a short ride on Izzy today (oh, and I haven't cleaned my tack in TWO DAYS. Such a rebel). Anyways. I'm working on doing lots of serpentines in walk and trot, specifically while opening my inside rein and pushing my hands forward. It seems like such a little thing, but since I had such a hard time with it over fences, I decided to break it down into chunks that I feel comfortable with.
Izzy is responding really, really well. She learns quickly and does seem to like going forward, despite not being an overly forward horse.
Actually... I'd say Izzy is a medium-forward horse. She goes forward willingly, but it's not her default gear. She's not an ambling lazy thing, but she's no upper level event horse, either.
Then we galloped. I guess I should clarify. To me, it feels like a mad, all-out gallop. It's probably just a respectable canter. At any rate, we'd shorten (via body aids) in the short ends and run down the long sides. Izzy really enjoys it and I do too... The more I move my upper body around in balance and really get comfortable in the saddle, the more fun I'm having.
For those of you that remember our whimsical adventure of a few weeks ago, rest assured: I haven't given up. My thinking is this: I need some time to rebuild my confidence with Izzy in our comfort zone, the arena. In that time, I'm emphasizing her forward cue--aka, you go NOW. I'm also riding other horses, which is helping me feel more confident as a rider in my ability to deal with all kinds of shenanigans.
Next week, I plan to corral someone with a solid trail horse and take Izzy out, first to the easy hack by the pastures and if that goes well, back up the mountain. I realized (after a long discussion with everyone's favorite Ellie) that most of the whole "riding outside" problem with Izzy is simply that she isn't educated to do it at all. It should be simple, but since it isn't, I need to give her a chance to learn and set her up for success. The same goes for me--I do not have the amazing riding foundation that Ruffles is getting by galloping around the countryside, so we're both on a sharp learning curve.
To infinity and beyond!