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Wizard Ride 139: Fizzy Wizzy

May 6, 2010

Wizard

Tuesday, 5/4/10

My friend Kat rides a Tennessee Walking Horse and when he’s particularly energetic combined with a bit of nerves, she describes him by using the term “fizzy”. Fizzy was just about exactly how Wizard felt on Tuesday. I arrived at the barn after work, dressed for the warm weather. I was in Kentucky for two weeks and New Jersey did not miss a beat. The gnats are out, the grass is green, spring is booming. Wizard heard me walk in the barn and poked his head out his little window and greeted me. I’ll admit, it was rewarding to have him recognize me and check me out.

I knocked two weeks of dirt (he rolled very thoroughly, from what I can tell) out of his coat and hand grazed him for a few minutes while I watched a friend ride. Then, I turned him loose in the indoor arena and, Wiz! Bang! Wizard was racing, snorting, leaping, and squealing around the arena. He was in high spirits for sure. A boarder needed the indoor arena so I brought him in the outdoor arena, where he finished his playtime, running, snorting, leaping, and cavorting. He is turned out every day and overnight sometimes and he plays with JR all day long, so it’s not as if he was not getting turnout time for the past two weeks. As soon as I called to him, he trotted to me… again, very rewarding :^)

I tacked him up and rode him outside around the property for a few minutes, letting him look around and enjoy the cooling air. We walked in the smaller dressage court and practiced leg yielding in both directions. I brought him into the large outdoor arena, where I rode him at a walk for about half an hour while I caught up with a friend. After we chatted, I thought about whether or not I was going to do any trot work or if he was off the hook for the night. As I thought this, he bounced forward into a trot. I must have inadvertently given him a cue that I was thinking about trotting! Such a sensitive guy…

Wizard’s trot was fizzy indeed, first short and animated, a “typewriter trot” as my friend calls it. Then, I asked him to lengthen his frame and stride, softening my hands and seat. He felt like he was thinking about cantering, but his trot became more forward and his stride lengthened. His mouth pressed against the bit, neck arched. I made my arms longer, hands softer, softer still. I tried my best not to let my fingers get loose, just softened the grip in my joints. We trotted and trotted, in large circles, shallow serpentines, straight lines. Wizard began to purr through his nostrils and relax his neck. His head lowered, while still maintaining his forward trot. For just a moment, I felt a really, really nice trot, a dressage trot. As he relaxed into my hands, his trot slowed a bit and the impulsion lessened and we were back to our usual green but improving working trot. Since the footing felt a little deep and he had two weeks off, I kept the trot work short, about 15 minutes total with walk breaks. After I cooled him out, he enjoyed his rice bran and a good grooming. It was a really nice ride, because Wizard was full of pep and because our communication is becoming a little more advanced. These short layoffs seem to do him a world of good.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2010 9:29 am

    “Fizzy” = good word. I know exactly what you mean. Sounds like Wizard is making some excellent progress. Hooray!

  2. May 6, 2010 9:31 am

    *sucks in breath sharply* at the photo. Outstanding light and terrific capture. Timing is everything isn’t it?

    I hope you had a good time at the Rolex but I missed you so I’m glad you are back too.

    Isn’t it heart satisfying when they call to you, as if they are saying “Welcome home! I missed you! Come over here!”

    I can just see him playing and working, stretching into your hands, turning on his motor and becoming a partner again. I feel it is such a compliment when they play around me so freely and give to me when riding so easily. It says they are comfortable with me and for me, that is a gift.

    • May 9, 2010 4:20 pm

      Wow, thank you, Holly! I know Wizard is becoming a special friend when I miss him, even at Rolex :^)

      It was a really rewarding ride. I definitely drove home beaming. We’re trusting each other a little more with each ride.

  3. muriel schwenck permalink
    May 6, 2010 3:55 pm

    Absolutely Fantastic photograph. Fizzy is an excellent description.

    • May 9, 2010 4:20 pm

      Thank you- I totally stole “fizzy” from my friend and I think it really applies to our equine friends sometimes.

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