Over the weekend, he gave me two amazing rides in a row. Yes, IN A ROW! On the first day, the UPS truck pulled in, turned around, pulled out, and basically tried to ruin my ride. Izzy didn't even bat an eye. In fact, he gave me the best connection I have ever felt from him.
As we were trotting around, I just kept asking him to keep his head down. And while he was at it, I asked him to carry the bit at the same time. And then he DID! And it wasn't just for one stride either. All of a sudden, I felt him take the bit gently as he softened through the neck and lifted his back. We trucked around for at least half a circle, totally connected and bouncy. And then of course he lost his balance a bit, but then he was back with me.
Since I ride Speedy through the various movements of Second Level, I've decided to be more specific with Izzy as well. For so long it's felt like our rides were more about steering. Could I keep him more or less in a circle or straight down the long side without a leap to the left or right? Now, I am choosing specific movements from Training Level through Second (and even some from Third).
My winter break is over which means he won't get ridden every day like he was. Hopefully we made enough progress over these past few weeks that 4 - 5 days of riding a week will be enough to keep him happy.