Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Riding Diary: 6

I guess this episode of Riding Diary deserves a bit of an explanation before we go into the nitty gritty of my latest lesson. I like blogging, no matter how silly I sometimes feel rambling into space I've enjoyed blogging about all things horsie and enjoy being able to look back on certain posts.

For example, I like keeping the same format for all of my "Riding Diaries" and I always open up my last one as I write my latest... In my sidebar it showed all the posts since I wrote #5, and clearly I was unhappy. For me, I have a hard time looking back on the last 4 months, I guess I had this overarching dream of finally being somewhere where I would excel and become great. I didn't excel, I didn't become great, I was stagnant.. and it sucked. BUT, moving on is a good thing, and moving on from my last barn led me to the barn I took my latest lesson at!

I have a dear friend (who reads my blog... slightly embarassing that she now becomes a character in all of this) who, along with a young warmblood jumper she also owns, recently purchased a young quarter horse with a reining trained foundation. Her name is Quiz, she is adorable. After hearing about what had gone on at my last barn she offered me the chance to take lessons with her trainer on Quiz. (Which, after calling every trainer on my "wish-list" in the freakin' area solved the number one problem of not having my own horse) Obviously, I jumped on the offer, and appreciate it more than she will ever fully know. So, let's get too it!

Horse: Quiz :)

Bit: Loose Ring Snaffle

Time: 1 hr.

Ride: Adjusting to trainers is kind of like adjusting to a new horse, it takes just as much time for you to be able to breathe and relax with your butt in a saddle as it does when you are in a new trainers presence. (For me, atleast). I started out the ride basically just saying, teach me from the beginning. My foundation is so shakey at best, my riding is basically tips and tricks from hundreds of different people, all slammed into my poor body, and I just crave consistency with someone. Proper, consistent knowledge and attention.

So, we started the warm-up at a posting trot, aint no thang (I thought), she asked me about diagonals.. yeah I know about diagonals... realization: I rarely know what my horses legs are doing when I am riding. Square one: Louisa, you don't even know how to freakin' trot properly, focus more on gait. This is the most embarassing moment to type out on this blog, but now it is over. Then we moved into a proper western jog. My trainer has shown high level western pleasure... she knows what a proper western jog is, I don't. All of a sudden i'm being yelled at everytime I post as it is "counter-productive to the jog"... hmm, this is all very new. No one has ever told me this before? Last I heard I can post whenever the hell I want... wrong. Then we worked on loping, focusing on keeping my heels planted, and my body calm, legs still, all of that. Overall, I really enjoyed the way my trainer works with me, she's stern but I never felt like she was being vindictive or mean. She was coaching, and it was all helpful and constructive and I left with things to work on, and improve on.

I'm not here to bash the other person I was taking lessons with, but I will say a few things. Different training styles aside I feel as if in one day I have done more, and done so more comfortably with this new trainer, than I did in the last 4 months (granted, that is all of 4 lessons, but still). I went into my old trainers with loose reins, calm and relaxed and came out feeling like I always had to have extreme contact for collection, that my hands had to be rigid, that my body had to be rigid, that my legs had to be so tense and pushed against my horse that I felt like my legs were going to fall completely off.. basically, that everything had to be tense. The first thing my new trainer said was.. "what are you doing with your stops?", whereas he had me completely throwing my body back, she has me calm, relaxed, asking for a stop in a similiar manner, it all just feels more calm. He may not have wanted the level of stress that was happening, but that's what was occuring in our relationship - tense, stressed, etc. None of this was contributing to my riding, it was contributing to giving me an ulcer.

So, hopefully now that I can feel a little more relaxed, I can work toward a better beginning in my new phase of riding. I hope this all works out better than the last.

Next Time: Heels down!
[this has never been a problem for me before, unacceptable]

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