So I ended up taking a very spontaneous lesson today. I was riding in the same arena as what would normally be a five person barrel lesson, but it ended up being only two. My trainer asked if I wanted to join, and of course I said yes.
Now those of you know I have been really going slow with Selena because of her attitude at being hot, and how she gets hot in the reining pen now because of the gaming.
The first thing my trainer tells me to do is lope up into the pen. Okay, whatever, I lope up. Then she tells me to speed up. I do, a little bit. She tells me to speed up more. I do a little more. We turn the first barrel and she tells me to stop, and asks me "Why are you riding like you're scared of your very broke horse?"
I wasn't sure I had an answer to that. I didn't feel scared intentionally, but apparently my reservations at making her hot were hindering me. She told me next time coming in to push her hard to the first barrel like I was riding an NFR horse. That did scare me a little, to be honest. I didn't really fancy the criticism I was convinced I was about to get, but I did it anyway.
So we go flying into this pen at Mach 20, and oh my god you would never have guessed. Selena literally stretched out and worked. I've never felt her do something like she did tonight. There were times when she felt good, but that was smooth, without anticipation, relaxed, just stretching to run and really sitting down hard even though the ground wasn't ideal.
At the end, my trainer pulled me aside and told me I was riding too much looking for perfection that all I was doing was stressing her out. What do you know it, she was right. As soon as I put my hand up and softened I found she did almost all the corrections on her own.
Well, it's nice to know I can trust her. She didn't get hot once.
Just my little paradigm shift for today...It was an awesome feeling getting to push her and feel what she can do.