If you've been reading for at least five minutes, you know that my big brown horse hasn't been the easiest guy to bring along. He's notoriously sassy and rather opinionated.
Each day last week, he gave me a winner of a ride. While that might not seem so spectacular, it is if you remember that a day off usually means starting all over. This week, Izzy had a day off between every ride, yet he came to work the following day ready to put his back into it.
I followed Chemaine Hurtado's simple adjustments, and it has really helped Izzy relax. After some reflection, I think there are two things in particular that really helped him settle down. The first is using just my seat bones to loosen his back without asking for any flexion through the neck or poll or withers. He seemed to relax much sooner by asking just with my seat bones.
The second thing that seems to have convinced him that it's more fun to relax is my promise to continue to let the misdemeanors go but not the felonies. There were several moments last week when I could tell he wanted to spook hard, but he resisted and nervously asked if he had done good. I praised him profusely for the smaller spooks and let him know that he had indeed done good.
Izzy had Sunday off because of the show, but I am so looking forward to today's ride. Was last week a fluke, or am I really on to something?