I managed to ride Izzy once or twice each week. The good thing is that he's on a huge turnout 24 hours a day so when I did get to ride, I didn't have to worry too much about riding a rocket on a string.
We had a break in the rain on Friday, and while it wasn't blazing sunshine, the air was fairly dry without the gloomy dampness we've had. I tacked up slowly, part of my patience with a good attitude thing, and spent some time visiting both boys. I've discoverd that Izzy is a much happier fellow if I groom Speedy first. It seems to give him some time to look around and relax.
Even while it rained, I spent a few minutes each day bridling and unbridling. Izzy really lost confidence in the bridle over the fall, and the double sent him over the edge. While he's not back to perfect, he's getting better and better.
It took me a few minutes on Friday to persuade him to take the bit, but rather than get frustrated, I turned it into a game. He eventually lowered his head and opened his mouth. I counted that as a win.
He got sassy early on, but rather than get exasperated over his 10,000th time spooking. I Iaughed and saw the shenigans for what they were: unbridled exuberance (no pun intended). I kept to my posting rhythm and gave a firm half halt reminding him that it's all in the stretch down.
Over and over I half halted and asked for a stretch. At one point, I felt his back really let go and he offered a swinging, bouncy trot that brought a huge smile to my face. I shifted my weight slightly and brought my inside hip forward. Before he knew what was happening, he was canterig to the right without any attitude.
We did one large circle and came back to trot before he had time to think about it. We changed direction and did the same thing to the left. It was the best ride he's given me in weeks. I realized that simply riding the horse that I have today, instead of trying to improve on the horse I had yesterday, allowed us both to enjoy ourselves.
My next ride might be a disaster, but the good ones are coming more and more frequently. That's all I can ask for.