Yesterday, KG and I loaded Izzy for his first lengthy field trip - it's a two and a half hour drive to Moorpark. He's getting really good about trailering. Most of the time he now climbs right in, but occasionally he still pauses a moment to make sure that I really want him to get in. As long as he hops in, I can deal with occasional pauses.
He was really quiet for the whole ride, but when we unloaded him, he had the typical "we're not in Kansas anymore" response. His head shot up as high as he could get it, which is already pretty dang high, and his eyes about bugged out of his head. He whinnied and cried and tried to bump and crowd me.
We put him in one of the turn out areas which was about the size of a large round pen, He had two neighbors, and KG and I stayed with him. After giving him a few minutes to pace around and look, I decided to put him to work a little. I sent him trotting around me until he started to refocus on me. When we walked back to Chemaine's barn, he was a tiny bit quieter. We popped him into a stall and left him while we went to eat the sandwiches that we had packed.
I also asked her to check my saddle fit - a quick assessment suggested it was fine. I also asked about his bit - that also looked fine. I just wanted to rule out any tack issues that might be causing him to be naughty.
After that, Chemaine got on him. As he can do with me, he balled up and got a little bit light in front. Chemaine was very reassuring and got him moving forward. I was happy to see that she was doing what I've been doing. She put her arms forward to give him some room, but she didn't lengthen her reins. She also bridged one of her reins (more on that tomorrow).
Just like with me, he tried to bolt, but instead of bringing his head around in a circle to stop him, she gave him a good hard jerk of the rein and said, NO! In fact, each time he tried to be a bit of a bully, she jerked the rein and repeated the NO! Within just minutes, he quit trying to be a jerk.
I've been really reluctant to give a hard jerk as Sydney was prone to rearing. To deal with the rearing, I pulled him hard to the side so that he wouldn't go up. Watching how nicely Izzy responded to the firm, but quick correction was really encouraging.
Once he quit being a jerk, I forgot to take pictures. She had him looking so fabulous that I couldn't wipe the grin off my face! He was really fancy. Chemaine especially commented on how nice his canter is - he's naturally uphill. After schooling him for a bit, she laughed and said she was having run riding him and asked if I didn't maybe want to leave him with her!