Bonus Riding Lesson This Week
Bonus riding lesson! Yes! Well, it wasn’t really a bonus, it was playing catch up from missing last Thursday’s lesson. But it means two chances to ride this week, so I am looking at it as a bonus!
And I assumed that it would be with my regular instructor, but when I got to the barn, a young lady seemed to be paying a lot of attention to me and asking a lot of questions about what I had been doing so far, and what my goals were. I thought she was just curious and wondering how I was doing. And about 5 minutes later, I figured out she was going to be my instructor for the day. I’m not the quickest at picking up on things.
Riding During The Day
The one thing that really stood out to me for me lesson was how different it was being at the barn during the day. I didn’t need a flashlight or headlamp to find Ringo, my lesson horse. And I never could see how big this place really is, because it is always dark when I get to the barn.
It was also a lot warmer. I will remember that if I have another daytime lesson, because I way over dressed! It was only 40 degrees, but that was a lot warmer than it is in the evenings when I typically ride.
There was also a lot more people at the barn, which made me a little bit nervous of where I was going to tie Ringo to get ready for our lesson. But everything worked out well, I was able to use some cross ties a lot closer to the arena which was really nice.
New Instructor = New Learning
My new instructor was very curious about what I had been doing, and how things were going. She wanted to know what I wanted to work on, and what my concerns were. She had her own way of explaining things, but she was really good at it. I still understood what she was asking me to do
From my brief experience with riding lessons, I have found the two different instructors I have ridden with our very good at building confidence. Not just for me, but I hear them talking to the other riders too. And they always seem to know what to say to help improve confidence.
Both have had their own ways of seeing what I am doing right, and immediately tell me I am doing it right. They also know how to get me to do the right thing. If I am gripping with my knees, they ask me to use my calf a little more, and drop my heels, which inevitably helps me to stop gripping with my knees.
Words Of Wisdom
For someone so much younger than me, Sarah is very wise for her young age. Maybe it’s because she has been doing this for a long time. Or maybe she just understands. But during my lesson I had a moment where my balance was not great, and I ended up pulling on Ringo’s mouth as we went over a trot pole. I felt awful, but Ringo just carried on like a trooper, and never faltered.
After I was able to go over the poles correctly, and without pulling on his mouth, I gave him a pat and said out loud, “Poor Ringo has to put up with me.” I didn’t really think about it, but I was putting myself down. And Sarah came over to me and had a serious heart to heart with me. She told me, “You are doing great, your balance is good, and you are understanding what you need to do. Don’t put yourself down, you should be very proud of how you are doing and focus on that. Don’t put yourself down.”
And the words she said clicked in my brain. I should not be focusing on the negative. Yes, I did something wrong, but I shouldn’t focus on that. I need to focus on what I am doing right, and work on improving.
I felt very empowered at that moment. And I was proud for what I had done during this lesson, and every lesson prior. I have made a commitment to learn, and to be a better rider. This is something I really want. And I need to concentrate on what I am doing right and build upon those moments.
Takeaways From My Lesson
This lesson was intense. By the time I got off of Ringo, my legs were like Jell-O. I would consider that a very good lesson, and a good work out! It was really fun to work with a different instructor and listen to what she was asking me to do. I really enjoyed that! The things I learned in this weeks lesson were:
- Remember to focus on what I am doing right
- Correct two-point position will make your thighs burn
- Don’t lean forward when asking for the trot
- Remember to keep breathing when doing something new or challenging
- Sitting up tall
What I Need To Work On
Like I said before, I really worked in this lesson. And I learned how to push myself just a little bit more and go just a little bit further. When I think I am done, push myself just a few more feet, and maybe a few feet more before taking a break.
The things I need to work on are basically my takeaways from the lesson:
- Focus on what I am doing right
- Be proud of what I have accomplished so far
- I need a stronger core
- Don’t put myself down
- Push myself a little more with each riding session whether at home, or in my lesson.
I am learning a lot in every lesson. And each time my instructors are pushing me, but in a good way, to be a better rider. It isn’t something that will happen over night, but with each lesson I feel more confident, and I can feel when I am doing something right.
And now that the weather is getting warmer, and the days are getting longer, I can transition what I am learning in my weekly lessons to my own horses. One day at a time, and one lesson at a time. And because of what I am doing now, I will be a better rider.
If you want to see where I have come from the beginning of my lessons, here are a couple of posts about my first riding lessons.
Getting The Most Out of Riding Lessons – The Adult Rider (Week 1 lesson)
My Weekly Riding Lesson – The Saga Continues (Week 2 lesson)