The weekend before that, I had attended the CDS Annual Meeting. Being surrounded by so many accomplished riders gave me the push to have higher expectations, both for myself and the big brown horse. I realized that I need to be a more exacting rider, or one who has higher expectations for my horse. That horse, of course, being Izzy.
We did several exercises during that lesson, both of which got his brain focused on me. The first was an exercise based on the number 4. It went something like this: 4 strides of shoulder in, 4 strides of straightness, 4 strides of haunches in, 4 strides of straightness. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
The exercise can be changed any number of ways. It doesn't have to be shoulder in and haunches in; fill in the blanks with any movements you'd like. We also did it with 4 strides of compression/collection followed by 4 strides of relaxation. The end result was that Izzy relaxed into a much steadier tempo. Knowing that he was going to get a release dissipated a lot of his tension.
In the video, I went a bit rogue here and there by throwing in my own stuff. Sometimes Chemaine would be thinking leg yield, but I had already prepared for half pass. So occasionally it looks as though I am directionally challenged. Which is true, but it's hard to ride a strong horse, listen, and follow directions all at the same time. Walking and chewing gum sort of stuff ... am I right?!
If only they'd let me write my own tests.