Izzy has been to her place for lessons a time or two, but it's been a long while. Amy is super cool and wouldn't mind if I brought him over on a weekly basis, but the problem is that it's a 45-minute drive each way. Bakersfield's summers are typically hotter than the sun, but it's been ridiculously mild here lately, so hauling Izzy across town has not been as likely to cause him (or me) to have heat stroke. So, I threw him in the trailer and off we went.
I watched a great video by Amelia Newcomb the other day. It was about avoiding negative self-talk. Lots of what she said resonated with me, but there was one idea in particular that I took with me to Amy's place. Amelia states that it's important NOT to worry about the things that are out of my control - traffic noise, airplanes flying overhead, the spooky corner, and so on. Amelia explains in her video that since those things are out of my control, I need to just ignore them.
And so began 30 minutes of here is my leg, here is your bend, shake hands. I was sympathetic, but firm. Rearing, balking, bolting, flailing, or otherwise trying to flee the scene weren't to be tolerated. And all of this was at the walk. As I worked on directing his haunches and shoulders where I wanted them to go, I kept reminding myself that the wall simply did not matter. It was one of those things that is out of my control, so I ignored it, and rode my horse as though it wasn't there.
Eventually, Izzy realized that I was up there talking to him. He never gave a huge sigh of relief, but he allowed himself to be ridden. I kept the work to the A half of the arena, and he finally trotted and cantered without plowing through my aids. Mostly. I was actually quite pleased with the canter work. We kept it on a 20-meter circle, but I did lots of canter to trot to canter transitions that were fluid and soft.
And then, because I wanted him to get the feeling of being in a stall/paddock that was not his own, I pulled his tack and popped him in an empty stall with an attached paddock and went to check out Amy's pottery studio. She's a very talented artist with a newly launched Etsy store that I want to share, but that will have to to wait until tomorrow. In the meantime, check out her store here.
Oh, and then Izzy went somewhere else the next day! Like I said, we're out and about!