The age is mostly because the only barn I know of that is reputable that teaches dressage is mostly adults only. I like the idea of experimenting.
Well...I rode today! And the instructor is different from the one I don't like. What I mean is that the "winter" instructor is now teaching my lessons, and she's a lot more understanding. We were doing individual raised cavaletti in a line today, and at the walk I was fine. As soon as I started trotting to it, I closed up. My horse had to haul herself over the cavaletti because I wouldn't give her cues to keep moving over it. Then...Someone on the side said "Come on don't just drop her! Pretend its a jump and look STRAIGHT!" I nearly cried. Eventually, I got used to it and was able to get her moving. Later in the lesson we were doing them at the canter, which scared me a little. The very first one I did was fine, and the second one she took HUGE and I basically latched onto her neck for dear life. I brought her to a walk and walked around a bit. We continued on with some good ones and some bad ones, with her occasionally running away with me (she was really in shape over the summer so she has a lot of excess energy) (The running away is a problem but its mostly an exercise thing. When she's in shape she's PERFECT.) In the other direction I only did the cavaletti once because I was getting really nervous, especially because she's unbalanced in this direction. So after all this I felt pretty nervous for jumping.
It started with me jumping a cross rail and holding onto her afterward, but after a lot of confidence jumping I got back into my normal self. Confident, with the ability to actually RELEASE over jumps so that I didn't fall on my face on her neck. 2' 6". On my last course of four jumps, I only got nervous before two of them. And my wonderful horse took them both well anyway. I was really happy, but I still have a lot to do before I can jump any higher. There's just so much to jumping and so much RISK to jumping that you really have to do it all well before you can move on to bigger jumps. I don't think I will for a long time...
So ever since the school year has started, I haven't been able to ride as much as I like. Therefore my horse that was ridden every day over the summer and was insanely in shape is now fat and has more energy then a five year old with coffee. This one woman rides her twice a week but does virtually nothing. 15 minute walk, 15 minute trot, 2 strides of canter, maybe. So this other girl has started riding her. This girl believes that she can train any horse to do anything, when she is really an amateur. She will TELL the trainer what is right, and will often refuse to take advice. She's made me quite angry in the past. Anyway, this girl is now riding my horse because I don't often enough. She is RUINING my work. She used to take the bit well. She used to feel light (even when fat) at the trot and respond to my half halt cues and listen to my seat. She used to respond to my cues to slow the canter. She used to never ever EVER rush a jump. Notice the past tense in all these things....AUGH. I pray I can start actually leasing soon so I can request that she NEVER RIDES HER EVER AGAIN.
Endminirant....sorry for the huge post.