I mentioned a week or so ago that I had started experimenting with the Myler bit that is US Equestrian legal. Dale Myler suggested I try the bit out once a week. I popped the bit on and had a fantastic ride. I used it again the next day, but I had to put Izzy in the round pen for a while when he forgot that I was up there. We then had a pretty good ride. The third day I used the bit, all hell broke loose, and I realized I was on a version of Izzy that I didn't want to ride.
I took him back to the barn, swapped out the legal bit, and replaced it with the old one. It took about 25 minutes to remind him of the rules, and then we spent another 20 minutes working. I've decided that Mr. Myler's suggestion of once a week was probably a good idea. I got greedy. I am now going to try it every tenth ride. Once a week is too frequent.
My biggest issues with Izzy are now solely about relaxation and accepting the contact. This might sound like no progress, but it actually is. When Chemaine saw Izzy last March, we were still fighting the jackassery moments. My goal back then was to be through with all of that for our next lesson. Mission accomplished!
Izzy was still tense of course, and he craned his neck to keep an eye on Speedy, but he went where I told him without any shenanigans. Right away, Chemaine had two new exercises to help get him to soften off the rein. In the first, she had me do a turn on the forehand where he turned in the direction of the bend.
From a right bend, I pushed his haunches in to make a comma or banana shape. I firmed up my inside rein, and pushed his haunches into the bend while minimizing his forward steps. The purpose of the exercise is to push his haunches until he learns to soften and accept the inside rein.
We ultimately moved on to the canter work which was the best he's ever given me. Sorry, no video as we ran out of storage. What the exercises showed me was that I really need to focus on where Izzy's shoulders are. It's the same issue I have with Speedy.
We definitely need a follow up lesson for sure. In the meantime, I'll keep chipping away at it and see where we end up.