I've never had lessons before. Everything I know about riding is self-taught or based on (verbal) instruction given by a friend I used to work for exercising her horses. I have been told I have a fairly light seat and good hands. I know I don't balance on the reins at the trot, but I honestly haven't cantered enough to know if I balance on the reins then or not. I've posted the trot before, but would not say that I'm adept at it (plus Aires' trot is so smooth that I don't have to post it).
My biggest issue is my confidence. I used to be very confident. When I worked at the Girl Scout horse camp, I was the one to school the horses that were being naughty because I was pretty much fearless. Then two years ago, I was thrown from a fellow boarder's crazy rescue mare (long story) and fractured my ankle. With that one seemingly small incident, my confidence was pretty much shattered. I'm better than I was right after I was thrown. Before, just the thought of riding would send me into a panic attack. Now, I find excuses not to ride. Part of me wants to just go out, saddle up, and ride...but then there's the part that remembers sailing over that mare's shoulder and blacking out as my head hit the ground (stupid me wasn't wearing a helmet)...and I find a reason not to ride, no matter how BS the excuse is. Aires has NEVER given me a reason not to trust him under saddle. My best friend even joked the thee day that she would rather have him on the dude string for trail rides than any other of the horses the BO has. So it isn't him...it's me.
Anyway, I figured that I might as well start looking around for a trainer with a horse (or horses) that I could take lessons on. I only know one person who gives English lessons, but she doesn't have any horses that could accommodate me (as a plus-sized rider). So, not knowing many other horse people in my area, I put an ad on Craigslist last night. I've already gotten three responses, but one of them is a no-go, as I've seen his students at local schooling shows and I didn't like his methods of teaching (he seemed VERY negative), plus he's almost an hour away and with as bad of gas mileage as my car gets...yeah, no. The other two are promising. One referred me to her trainer, who is in my town. I checked out her website and emailed her, so we'll see what her rates are and if she has any horses that I could be comfortable on. Then there's the other lady. She's about twenty minutes away and has offered to give me lessons for free. She has a 16.2hh gelding that she thinks would be perfect for me to learn on. I'm going to see about going out there on Saturday and meeting her and the horse.
So, I guess all of that was to basically say...wish me luck.
Also, are there any questions I should ask when I go to meet the lady who offered the free lessons?
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