Once school started, I had to go back to work, and my trainer got busy with year-end championship shows. Her schedule has finally settled down enough that she was able to come to Bakersfield for two days of lessons this weekend.
While the correction bit is a good choice for the next few weeks, she explained that he wouldn't be able to take a good contact with it. That's fine for now as he needs to lighten up, but once he gets that part re-figured out, I'm going to need to go back to a snaffle.
Before anyone gets all freaked out and starts criticizing, I agreed with her. Izzy is a challenging horse to ride, and more than one "expert" has pointed out his talent for upper level work. We're not going to intentionally skip any of the lower level stuff, but we may need to do things out of order with this horse.
A bradoon bit, strap, and curb have all been ordered. Chemaine has also given me directions on how she wants me to use them. Besides that change, which is big enough, Chemaine also had some suggestions for reprogramming Izzy's brain.
Next, she wants him doing more leg yields and haunches in to supple up his body. Along with that, she wants him to slow the heck down. She compared him to a child that stutters. When he gets going too fast, he can't control his legs and he scrambles faster and faster. This is not new information of course, but with the snaffle, I simply couldn't slow him down.
She rode for most of the lesson, but I hopped up on him for a few minutes after she had schooled him. In just that short time he felt so much lighter. She once again reassured me that this horse is worth the time and effort and that yes, I do have the ability to get the job done. It's just going to take a while.
It might seem like a daunting endeavor, but I love having a plan!