There’s only one video from this lesson, but my mother was so far away you can barely see me, so y’all will have to deal with Red photos to break up texts instead. 😉
I had a lesson on Tuesday, riding the same mare as before. I’ve discovered a few things about myself in the last two lessons, one of which being that I get really nervous at the canter. I’m chalking it down to me just not cantering hardly at all before this, and for seeing a lot of horse related accidents that make me uneasy. I’m fine at a straight line, but when we go to turn, I have a fear of losing my seat somehow. The mare likes to jump into a trot at turns, so I have to keep her working and keep her at a canter when we go to turn, focusing on my leg and not on anything else at those moments helps me keep calm enough to get the turn down and keep going. After a couple laps at the canter, I’m relaxed and loosened up again. I suppose that will be a work in progress, and I’m happy to have a trainer to keep pushing it so I can’t let myself chicken out. I want to prove myself and improve and become the rider I know I can be eventually, and to do that, I’ve gotta push back the nerves.
We did w/t/c as usual, warmed up at the walk then moved to the jog, worked on relaxing my leg a little and making it less stiff and straight, focusing on getting it to fall around the horse a bit more naturally. Trainer also noticed that I lean a bit to my left and I’m crooked, so we worked on keeping myself straighter but not being super stiff. It seemed to be worse at the canter, which I definitely noticed after she pointed it out, so that’s something new to work on at home as well.
Also worked on slowing the horse down at the canter with my seat, which I caught onto fairly quickly. Leaning more forward is a bit harder for me to get used to since I spent so long battling the whole leaning back thing.
I’ve also noticed another thing – I have hardly any confidence in my abilities. Even when people let me know that, hey, you’re improving really quickly, the problems you have are minor and fixable ones, you’re doing good, I have a hard time believing. I see videos of me during lessons or rides with Red and I think to myself, yeah, I’m totally not horrible, but that’s the extent. I don’t see myself as a good rider, and it’s hard not to compare my abilities to other people’s. I think it could be the fact that I’ve had such a late start compared to most people, and I’ve spent three years working and trying to improve on my own, so it’s hard to see how I’m doing when I’m by myself.
I ride Red, and I know I’m obviously not horrific, because I’ve gotten him to improve a lot on areas that everyone else kind of lost hope for. I look back on old photos and think, gosh, I sucked. A year ago, my leg sucked, my heel sucked, my whole body sucked, Red was still not where I wanted him to be because I wasn’t there yet either, and I look at photos from now and I see a lot of improvement. There’s so much progress, but still, I doubt. I have doubting problems. And it’s all focused on myself, never my horse. I’ve never doubted Red’s abilities to be amazing, I’ve always doubted my own abilities.
My next lesson, I’m going to ask around, see if I can find someone to haul Red out there so we can have a lesson together, get some fresh perspective, or ask if she’d be willing to drive out to our place if I pay her extra to watch us and let me know what she thinks.
I think having someone out to see my horse and point the exact things I need to work on, the things that he’s doing good on, it’ll help give me a fresh perspective and know what I’ve been able to do. I don’t want to call it a pat on the back, and it’s not, because I want the constructive criticism, but I guess in a way it is? We shall see.