Like I've already said, Izzy is getting his butt hammered each and every day. Why does he need a day off? He spends 23 hours a day doing whatever he wants. All I ever ask him for is 20 minutes of try and pay attention. If he doesn't pay attention, he's out there longer, but nothing I am asking of him right now merits a day off.
Izzy warmed up well and was working quite happily when the roller skaters and their escorts came walking back down the road. Now I get that roller skating kids have the potential to be terrifying, but these guys were under ten years old and were walking more than rolling. There was nothing scary about the entourage. No one was screaming or zipping around. It was a group people out for a warm weather stroll on a nice day.
As they came back onto the ranch, at least a hundred fifty yards away, Izzy lost it. Or tried to. He head snapped up, his back hollowed, and he slammed on the breaks. Kind of. It was a full on Dick Move, but I was ready. Unfortunately, I had let the whip go some time ago, so all I had were my hands and feet, but I put them to good use.
It wasn't pretty, but I kept him working the whole time they walked past us. I never let him take a peek. I told him quite clearly that he has 23 hours a day to gawk and look at whatever he wants. I am asking for 30 minutes of focused work and by all that's holy, I am getting it.
As they drifted down to the house, Izzy's focus really did come back to me. Without a moment to rest, I opened up the circle and insisted on a balanced right lead canter. I think he was too shocked at the frenzied butt kicking he had received to even think about refusing.
After all of that, we then did some quiet walking with square halts. By the time we finished up, his coat was soaked and the earlier shine was long gone. I didn't care one whit; he dropped and rolled as soon as I put him away anyway.
I left the barn feeling like I had scored a huge point. If anyone wants to stroll through the front gate while I am riding, please drop by. Izzy needs the practice!