I embarrassed myself. My instructor says I'm being far too hard on myself, but I felt like a complete failure. I had to stop in the middle of the lesson, just flat out halt the horse and sit and compose myself, because I was feeling like I had no business being on a horse and I needed to just give up and go home. *sigh*
Last week was great. The only problem I had last week was that I was putting too much "umph" into my rising trot, so I was coming up too high. Other than that everything was very good... she said she was extremely impressed with how well I did, since it'd been over 10 years since I've ridden. She complimented my posture, told me I have wonderful soft, quiet hands, etc. I did a sitting trot very well, went from sitting, to posting, to 2 point, etc. By the end of the lesson we did a very nice BIG extended trot.
Today... Today started out okay. Until she asked me to canter. I don't know why, but it's like I can't remember *how* to transition into the canter. I know that I need to have a nice steady trot going, I know that I need to half-halt when I ask him to canter, and I know that I need to sit. Buuuuut.... things just weren't working. One time I asked for the canter and he went into this HUGE extended trot and I kind lost my balance because I was expecting him to just go into the canter like I asked, and I lost a stirrup, and then I got TOTALLY frustrated with myself, and had to halt and just sit and compose myself for a minute. Ugh. So my instructor was like "Okay... I know you're capable of this. Let's try again, just pick up the canter and go 20 strides and then come back down to a trot and we will do the rest of the lesson in a trot. You just need to get the canter to get over the "hump" so it doesn't become more of an issue later." So. I took deep breaths and I went out on the rail and took my time. I walked for a minute, then picked up a nice and steady rising trot and then I asked him for the canter... and he picked up the wrong lead. I said screw it, let him canter on the wrong lead up the long side of the arena and pulled him back down to a trot. I got over the hump, and figured it was good enough.
For the rest of the lesson I worked on going from a big, quick extended trot on the long sides of the arena to a slower, "regular" trot on the short sides using only my seat/posting speed to change his speed. So we did end on a good note.
I told my instructor that I felt like I was wasting her time (lol), and she told me that I am doing a wonderful job and that I am being far too hard on myself. I wish that I could see myself riding, because I feel like I am just all over the place and horrible and have no business even trying to ride. And she told me that only the riders who are truly good are so critical and hard on themselves. :)
She is super sweet, I love my instructor. So... even though I'm way less than thrilled with the way my ride went, I'll just have to make it better next time. This all used to come so naturally to me, and it seems so strange to have to actually think about it and work at it now.