My Weekly Riding Lesson
Yes! It is time for my weekly riding lesson again! My husband said I am like the geeky kid who is excited to go to school every day. And yes, when it comes to riding, I would agree with him. I think I get excited too because my lesson is on Thursday nights, which means there is only one day before the weekend! So my lesson being on Thursday makes me happy for so many reasons.
This is only my third lesson, and earlier today I found myself wondering (worrying) if I can have improvement in my riding when I am only riding 1 day a week. Especially this past week because we had a little snowstorm this past weekend, so I had no chance to practice what I had learned on my own horse at home.
Thankfully, the temperature had risen to over freezing, so I was not freezing when I got the barn. This makes me excited to ride when it is actually warm outside!
My lesson is at 6:00 pm. So this means I change for my lesson after work, and drive straight over to my lesson. I was running a little late after work, which means I was in heavier traffic getting to the barn. But I did get there about 10 minutes before my lesson, and I was determined I would be getting my lesson horse by myself before my lesson began. After 2 lessons of having my trainer help me, I was pretty confident that I knew which horse Ringo was and I would be able to find him, even though it was dark out. I keep meaning to bring my headlamp instead of relying on my phone to give off light, but I forgot it, again. But I found him, and he was easy to catch, even though he is in a large pasture with a bunch of other horses.
I was able to get him back to the barn, into the cross ties, and grabbed a bucket of brushes, and Ringo’s tack.
It did feel a little odd to me though, doing everything by myself. I don’t know why. I mean, I know how to tack up a horse. Grooming is my favorite thing to do, so I know how to groom a horse. But I think there is a difference when you are grooming and tacking up your own horse, vs. someone else’s, especially when you are their barn.
And I forgot to put his boots on, so I had to go back and grab his boots.
I think I did mostly ok, in my trainer’s eyes. She did come look over everything and ended up scooting the saddle a few inches more forward. But overall, I think I did ok.
Time To Learn
I’m not going to lie, I was a little nervous about this lesson, after last weeks. I didn’t do very good last week. My legs were all over the place, and I was very tense, which transferred to Ringo. I pulled on his mouth, and that made me feel terrible. So I had a lot of things going through my head this past week in preparation for planning for this lesson.
But once I climbed up on him, all of those worries were gone.
My lesson started with of course on balance, standing in the stirrups to learn balance, and two-point position both at walk and trot. We worked on switching diagonals and looking up. And we did some transitions from walk to trot and trot to walk and worked both ways of the arena.
I got a lot more “Good job!” and “Yes!” comments in this week’s lesson, which was very encouraging.
And then we started to work over ground poles at the trot. I did both posting trot, and two-point position over the two rails. I also learned how to move on after tackling the rail. We worked on this for about 10 minutes, both directions. I had a few moments where I was unbalanced, and unfortunately, one moment where I yanked on Ringo’s mouth. (Sorry Ringo)
But overall, I am very happy with how my lesson went. I did have a few times where I lost my footing on the stirrup, and it started dancing beneath my foot. And when that happened, I brought Ringo back to a walk, placed my foot right again, and then picked up a rising trot again.
My balance is still an issue, but I did feel much more balanced this week as compared to last week. Now I just need to continue that and improve.
Another Lesson Complete
I had more actual riding time during this lesson because I was able to get Ringo myself, and get ready for the actual lesson. And I felt really bad for my trainer, she was sick. I actually felt a little guilty making her work when she didn’t feel well. This was evident at the end of my lesson, because she asked if I felt comfortable enough turning Ringo back out so she could leave. Of course I said yes, and have her some old fashion remedies to help her get better. And this gave me a few minutes alone with Ringo to take a couple of photos!
Hopefully I did everything correctly. I put the grooming bucket away, and made sure to put the tack away, and take Ringo back out to his pasture. After Ringo was in the pasture, I double checked the gate and came back to the barn to sweep up where I had picked out Ringo’s feet one last time. The tack room lights were off, and back door closed. But I still wonder if I forgot anything!
Takeaways From This Weeks Lesson
Overall I am really happy with how my lesson went this week. But as always, there are some things I will continue to work on before next Thursday:
- Continue balance exercises
- Watch my hands
- Practice two-point
- Watch my foot positioning in the stirrups
- Continue my mindset of going with the flow
My horses are way spoiled compared to the lesson horses. And I learned it’s ok for my horses to work too. I am going to remember this when I work with both of them. Frisby will still be walk only, as he is pretty much retired, but I can still work on my position with him. And I can really focus on Ethan and I working together, and getting better, together.
I really thought about going with the flow a lot over the past week. And even though I didn’t get to ride my own horses, I kept that thought clearly at the front of my mind, and I think it helped me. Maybe I did better because I wasn’t so nervous. Maybe I did better because this was the third lesson. Whatever it was, I will continue to build upon each lesson, and hopefully continue to improve. But I really didn’t think I would do better, because I hadn’t ridden in between my two lessons, but I did!
My confidence is definitely improving. And I can really see the benefit of having professional lessons. Even if it is just for the confidence boost, to me it is worth the investment of time and money.
And things I have learned in just 3 lessons have been far more valuable than working on my own. I am so happy I decided to commit to weekly lessons, and I am excited to see where I will be in the next few months.