Today was a good day.
Ever since I started riding I have always felt like the beginner among the advanced. I always watched girls younger than me do such amazing things, things I could only dream of doing. Last year I moved riding schools. My old one was good, but it was more based for younger kids. Don't get me wrong, I loved it there, but I really wasnt going anywhere. After a year I couldnt do a sitting trot, my canter was awful and I just really hadnt improved much. This year, I felt the improvements from day 1. I always doubt myself, I put myself down more than I think about the good things.
Today was different.
It started like any other lesson. Myself and two other girls got on our horses, walked, trotted, did a few poles, and discussed some theory stuff. Well, for a while now I've been asking my instructor for a stirrupless lesson, and today, I got one. She said we were all capable enough of doing this (previously we had a few less experienced girls with us). Personally, I was expecting to find it extremely hard to go without stirrups. But after a few minutes I found my seat and got quite comfortable. We did try a little rising trot, haha well, that was, errm, painful. So we slowed to a walk and we only had about 10 minutes left in our lesson, so that must mean it was time to canter.
My instructor asked everyone to get their stirrups back, except me.. I knew exactly what was going on. I know the other two horses are quite tough to get into a canter, so the girls need stirrups. But my horse on the other hand, is easy to canter. So of course, my instructor proposed the idea of a stirrupless canter.
Yes I was nervous, but if she thought I could, well, why not? I set myself up for a bouncy transition and hard to balance canter. I remember a while ago I lost my stirrups at a canter and struggled. So, I got myself into a good trot, and then into a canter. Then it hit me, this wasnt so hard! I set myself up for this massive challenge, when in fact, cantering stirrupless almost seemed easier than with stirrups. As I did it more and more I found it easier and easier. And you know what, I left there in the best mood I've been in a long time
Now I feel like I've really gotten somewhere. Like all this hard work is paying off. A year ago I couldnt even sit a trot, now im here, cantering with no stirrups. I've taken a big step forward, I've accomplished something amazing and I feel great!