So I gave him Saturday and Sunday off, I went out and groomed him and just played around, gave him apples... Then today, we went back to work. We didn't have another lesson, it was just us. Much more laid back, less pressure, more teamwork. I need to learn how to be in that mindset while
being taught new things, I think his resistance in our first lesson was my fault. I was really nervous and I tried so hard to do everything my trainer asked... I think I made Riley feel nervous, too.
He was very relaxed and willing today. He did everything I asked without fighting me, he halted without trying to pull the reins, he reined back with no hesitation, and he kept a great pace the entire time. He made me so happy, I felt so much better when I realized he was happy to work with me.
I almost feel more confident when I'm working with him alone, I get to do things my way instead of feeling like I have to immediately respond to my trainers instructions. When she was teaching me how to rein back, she kept pressuring me, saying "Go! Go! Go!" and I felt like I had to get it done right then and there or else I was going to fail or something. She wasn't being harsh, she was just being very enthusiastic! I learned a lot and I look forward to learning more, I just need to get used to that fact that she is an intense lady!
I guess this is normal for lessons, right? That's why people have such a love/hate relationship with their trainers?
All in all, it was a learning experience for me above and beyond the dressage aspect. If I want to do this, I need to be able to push my horse and myself without stressing either of us out. See! I'm becoming a better horse person already!