Hello! Not sure where to put this, or even if I should, but I really needed to share what I did in my lesson today with all you horsey people that will understand my excitement..
So, today was about my 13th lesson just to give you some background.. So far I've been mastering the posting trot and I think I have it down pretty well. Last lesson, we started working on trotting poles. So today, my trainer says.. "okay, get to your trot.." And I'm just thinking, okay trotting poles again. Then he says, "Alright show me your two point." So I do.. And then...! He says, "Now, you're going to canter.. So grab some mane, kick, sit up tall in two point.." I'm like, WHATT ARE YOU SERIOUS?! LOL but he always knows what he is doing so I go ahead and do it.. And oh my goshhhh it was so cool!!! First time I literally felt like if I moved one muscle I was going to fall off, but I was only worried about how embarassing that would be!
We actually held the canter for a good long while! And then went back to trot and back up to canter maybe like 5 more times? It was awesome!! Slightly terrifying at first haha but I remember feeling this way when I first started trotting too.
I always have trouble holding the reins and not like fumbling around with them... It feels like so much to hold (I use a crop with the pony I ride too) and then when I was cantering, I could not figure out how to steer! Thank goodness my pony picked good directions to go.. I was cringing at one point when my pony went over a cavaletti.. and then we ended up in the center of the ring right next to my trainer (he was not happy!!). Any tips on this? I tried wearing riding gloves for the first time today (and was wearing them for my first time cantering.. Eeek.) but they just added to feeling like I didn't have enough control, or something.. I guess it's that I can't shorten and lengthen my reins quickly? Especially going from canter to trot and back.
Also he kept telling me to "SIT UP!!" and stop "laying on him" when I really felt like I couldn't sit up any more, especially if I am holding on to the mane.. I did try to jam my heels down as much as possible which definitely helped with staying on! I can see though that if my pony tripped or something I would probably go flying over his neck with me sitting so far forward.. How do I fix this?
I'm sure more practice will help these issues too.. I remember feeling so helpless and frustrated after learning to trot but now after not that many lessons I have it mostly figured out! My main question, though, is how do you steer while cantering?! Sounds stupid but even after shortening my reins (and I tried to remember to let my arms follow the horse's head and give them to him/let him have room), I couldn't find a time when I felt balanced enough to break from my position and use the outside rein.. Will this get better once I have more balance and won't feel like I could fall off?