Riding Lesson Change
It’s that time again, time for another weekly riding lesson! And I don’t know if the nervousness from thinking about having surgery is creeping into my horsey time, but I have been getting nervous again in anticipation of riding. Which is weird. I haven’t been nervous when I am riding at home, even with Ethan. But I find myself getting nervous with my riding lessons.
And this week I knew my regular instructor was not going to be there, she had finally gotten to take a well deserved vacation for the week. But this meant I would have someone else working with me. At first I thought it would be the owner of the barn. And she is like, a big deal. So all week I was anticipating having to ride under her instruction. I was worried what she may think, or what she would ask me to do. I worried that I wouldn’t be good enough, does that make sense?
Meeting The Legend
So when I got to the barn I felt like I did with my first lesson, anticipating what would happen, what she would want me to do, would I make a fool of myself…you know the standard things that go through an active imagination. And when I entered the barn, the owner of said barn was in the arena with a group of girls, and a group of people surrounding her like she was a rock star. This did not help my nerves.
And as I walked by the arena, she introduced herself and I found myself felling like I was in front of a rock star. I felt nervous as I shook her hand. She just oozed confidence. I wonder if my mouth was open as I tried to find my words. I don’t think it was, but I did feel like I was shaking the hand of a great rider, I would love to have that level of confidence.
Ringo Or Murphy?
I was hoping I would get to ride Murphy tonight, but when I went to the whiteboard with the lesson horse assignments, I saw I would be riding Ringo. I really enjoy riding Ringo, but Murphy is easier for me to ride which is why I was hoping I would get to ride him in front of the barn owner. But riding Ringo is not the worst thing that could happen. I mean he is a very kind horse, and I am grateful to be able to ride such a master of helping timid riders.
And in anticipation of trying to catch Ring out of the huge pasture I grabbed a handful of fresh grass, something I know he can’t resist. Thankfully he saw this, and I had no problem getting him caught!
Ringo is currently being leased right now, so I think he is getting a lot more work. And he is really getting fit. And his summer coat is in, and he is just so pretty! And I really wanted to make sure that he was groomed well, especially for riding with the owner of the barn! He had to be perfect, in my opinion.
I got a new pair of stirrups that I have used one time at home with Frisby, and I wasn’t sure how they would really work, but they look nice on my saddle, along with the black Millbrook stirrup leathers I was finally able to buy.
They weren’t cheap, but I like having the black stirrup leathers with my black saddle. It may be petty, but I like that everything matches. And to go along with the perfection of my saddle, I made sure to grab boots and a saddle pad that matched, so red it was.
Into The Arena
As I plucked up as much courage I could, and brought Ringo to the arena I met another instructor in the arena, Katie. (Another Katie) And she let me know she would be my instructor for the evening. I did feel a little disappointment, and relief all at the same time. But the relief won out, and I climbed aboard Ringo.
We walked, a lot while Katie asked me a lot of questions about what I had been doing, and how my lessons were going so far. I filled her in with what we had been working on, and I also told her that I was having a hard time with going over cross rails. I was hoping that this would mean I would not be ‘jumping’ for my lesson this week.
She then asked me to do what I had been dreading ever since I found I would be riding Ringo, posting trot. I gulped, and asked for a trot. I think I have told you before Ringo has the bounciest trot I have ever ridden. But as we moved into trot, I made sure to really think about putting my weight into my heels, and it helped so much. I could actually balance myself on Ringo as he trotted around. I was also able to get the correct diagonal, even with changes of direction.
I had told Katie I have little confidence, and that is why I am here, to build my confidence and improve my riding. I told her I am not very good, and I have a weak leg. But for the first time ever, I didn’t have a weak leg. I wasn’t having difficulty with diagonals. And my confidence level was better. She said I was doing good, better that she thought I would be doing with the assessment of my skills that I had given her.
Lots Of Cantering
So now that she wasn’t buying my personal assessment, we started the canter. Ok, we worked a lot on canter. Both directions of the arena. And this is where my assessment was accurate. This is what I need to work on now. I have graduated from working on diagonals, and balance to working on the canter. How did this happen? It seems like just yesterday I was nervous to trot!
After I was able to canter both directions, she threw in a new challenge, canter over a squishy pole. Oh…..my…….God……what?!??!
Yep, she had me work on cantering over the squishy pole. The first time was rough, I mean really rough. So we did it again and again, until I was able to do it without holding Ringo back, and losing everything I have previously learned. And I didn’t die. This was a good thing. I successfully cantered over the squishy pole!
This was the perfect ending to an incredible lesson.
My Weekly Riding Lesson-Succsess
I had been anticipating riding with a different instructor all week long. I had worried about it, and let my imagination get control of my brain, again. But the lesson was so much better than I thought it would be. I know it was a great lesson because I forgot about everything else that I had going on, including wanting to get home because I had a package delivered that I really wanted to see! But I forgot about everything during my lesson and was able to concentrate on what I was doing, and only on my lesson.
I could feel that I am improving, and I had no fear of walk trot or diagonals, and I am moving up on what I am learning. So I am continuing to be challenged, and move up in my riding abilities. This makes my lessons so valuable and I am so grateful I have the opportunity to do this each week.
Next week will be my last lesson for a while, and my regular instructor will be back for that. I am excited, but sad at the same time. But one thing I will not do is let my imagination take over my rational brain again, I will continue to get better, and look forward to being the best rider I can be!