So, my first lesson was today. My nephew A had one for the same time and we ended up in the same outdoor arena, so it was fun to be able to watch him a bit as well whenever I had a quiet moment. I rode a QH mare who had been a ranch horse before, met my trainer and I really liked her. She said the mare is a really good horse, very safe but has lots of buttons and a big motor, so to be prepared to push the right ones. I groomed, got tacked up and started off walking for a few laps and getting familiar with her. Before long she asked me to trot her, so we trotted a few laps and worked on keeping her at the proper speed and not letting her speed up any more than a trot, then she asked if I had ever posted the trot and I was like..yes…but I suck majorly, lol. So we worked on posting, she gave me a few pointers and made me stay in a post for a couple of laps before letting me change directions and walk her more. Posting was difficult, hard to get in the right rhythm and once I did, I realized very quickly that my legs didn’t have enough strength to keep at it, so I kept falling out of it, but practice will make perfect. She told me to work on that every ride with Red, and to continue trying to improve on it. Once I was in a rhythm, she said my posting was good but I just couldn’t stay in it. So I know who will be working on some leg strength. 😉 Y’all will have to excuse the video screenshots, videos won’t post for some reason. 😦
Her jog was really nice, easy to sit. I definitely prefer sitting the trot over posting but I’ve really got to nail that down.
I went around the arena quite a few times and slowed her to a jog, continued that pace for awhile, switched directions a couple times, then she had me canter at one side. It was great to ride a horse that jumped into a canter so easily and stayed in it. Red doesn’t want to go into one, and Stormie doesn’t like staying in it, haha. But, it was really nice for me to be able to w/t/c and keep a good seat, it makes me feel better as a rider to know that I’m capable of doing this stuff on a good horse, and that my EQ can be halfway decent on other horses.
I slowed her to a walk, then jogged again, then switched directions, walked, then asked for another canter and she was great. Very jiggy and fast paced after a canter, she wants to go right back into the canter afterwards so it was fun to get her to slow back down and stay slow.
Then, the trainer brought out a trot pole and had me walk her over to it, stand over it and sidepass. I’ve only sidepassed a horse once, one of the mares at my old barn, but really didn’t know what buttons to push and etc, so we went over it twice at different sides.
Overall, she said my seat is really good and there’s only a couple things that she wants to tweak and fix up, and she’ll start doing that next lesson (which will be next week or the week after.) and she said she was happy with how I handled the mare. She asked what I needed to work on most with Red and told me she’d help with those things as well so I can learn what to do with him and do it at home.
There’s a few things I noticed in the videos that I need to work on:
- Posting. Getting into the rhythm and staying in it.
- My back. My back wants to go back and I want to lean backwards at the canter, I need to work on going forward a bit and staying straight.
- My hand. Hand needs to get on my leg and away from the back of the saddle. I never tried grabbing it, but it was swinging back and I think it effected my back as well. For what I want to be doing eventually, discipline wise, my hand needs to be on my leg at all times.
All of this will come with more work (and some leg strength rofl.) I’m really excited to continue this and I think it’ll be really good for me to ride other horses and have someone train me, I know I’ve been held back a bit. Having your mother as your trainer is a weird situation because she won’t push me far enough and she’s an anxious mess when I’m riding. (;