I know I mostly lurk here but I'm really happy now and that tends to make me want to share :)
I originally only rode Icelandic horses which are essentially gaited native ponies but back in last November I started taking lessons once a week at a barn nearby. It was try riding non-Icelandic horses or don't ride at all so I decided to go for it. I hadn't ridden then for several years and I hadn't really ridden English style before either. The traditional Icelandic style is more similar to English than western I guess since there is rein contact etc. but still, it's different.
Anyway I've slowly been finding my feet and having a lot of fun doing so. Today I went and had a lesson, it was a group lesson but there were only three of us this week so it wasn't crowded or anything.
We did a lot of work without stirrups and I managed to find my balance and stay relaxed a lot better than before. It felt really effortless and fun.
I was really working on trying to stay relaxed and feel my center of gravity and make sure it was moving with the horse and I think I managed the best sitting trot I've done in a while. It felt easier than with stirrups actually.
I also cantered without stirrups for the first time ever and it went really well. I went a little bit wobbly in the transition from canter to trot but nothing serious, still anyone got tips on how to handle that? Is it just the standard, stay relaxed and centered?
After that we did leg yields at walk, trot and canter. Again it was really a lot of fun, didn't go perfectly but it went a lot better at the end than when I started and I love the feeling of having things do the "click" thing in your head when you suddenly figure out how to ask properly for what you want the horse to do and how to help them with that.
I only wish I could have my own horse to work with and then also to go riding more than once a week but with my working hours I don't have the time and I don't have the cash either. Oh well maybe in a year or two.