Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North central Iowa
So, I just had a riding lesson since the show, which maybe wasn't such a good idea because everything was so FRESH.
I took my little Arab, Knight, up to lessons just to give Rusty some time off after such an exhausting show. Knight is 18, pretty out of shape, and doesn't have much jumping experience. I just want him to gain enough experience doing different things so that my niece can be comfortable on him. I thought, what the heck, I'll give this a whirl.
The lesson was not fun for me. I don't know if I'm still in the pattern of the show where I'm taking criticism too personally and don't just get over it or what. That's always been a bit of an issue with me, by the way, but I feel I've gotten better at it - until maybe now. I almost cried at the show because I felt my body could not comply with what my instructor wanted and she kept pushing. I felt the same way in my lesson, except maybe that my horse couldn't comply.
To start off, I walked him over all the ground poles as a warm up, without the instructor. The flowers by the jumps were a little scary, as well as some other things around the arena. Didn't really faze me, even though I'm used to my steady-eddy Rusty. Then my instructor came in, and she had us trot. Knight went well for a while, but then my instructor wanted me to get him moving forward from my legs and wanted him on the bit. She kept getting after me to use more leg, and I was really trying, but Knight wasn't complying. Maybe I totally need more leg, but I was literally squeezing with about as much effort as I could muster - my legs felt like jello again, and the temperature outside wasn't hot at all! Anyway, I wasn't really sure that we should be trying to get Knight on the bit and everything perfect at one lesson where he's not been ridden in quite a while and isn't in shape at all.
When we cantered, Knight didn't want to move out, I assume because he was tired - usually he moves out nicely. He did try to buck me on a few corners, which is normal (he doesn't really buck so much as hop...). I feel most comfortable in a full seat with him, the three point is harder for me...my instructor told me to use three point because that's "how he was taught to go". I really don't think so. He was HUS at local shows beforehand, and most local HUS around here is in a full seat.
Knight is definitely not a jumping horse...he can jump, but not well. I just want him to jump small jumps on a course safely for my niece. My instructor kept getting after me to speed Knight up over a fence that he kept looking at weirdly because it had flowers under it, so he trotted it. I thought getting over it would be enough. And then she was frustrated because she wanted me to three point but then I didn't sit back enough. Ugh. Okay. I think I was more upset there because I can never seem to ride right. I have been taking lessons for a year and been serious about it. You'd think there'd be more progress in me, not just in my horse.
Anyway, she was telling me how Knight is a prize and how we just have to get him undead to my leg. Oh, I almost forgot - she wanted him to do shoulder-ins and shoulder-outs, which I'm pretty sure he's never done before. And then she got frustrated because I couldn't get him to do them right away after he started doing them. Plus, I'm not used to riding him and he's a little greener in this field than my Rusty is. He was confused, and she was getting upset because I couldn't get him to get it right away.
I don't know how I'm feeling. I pulled out of the Aug 25th show just because I don't think I can take another show this soon. I know, as a person, I thrive off encouragement and compliments, and while I know that criticism is normal, too much pressure of it gets to me. Again, something I'm trying to work on. But what do you think about my instructor? Am I just being totally off the wall? I'm pretty much stuck there though because she's the only English instructor around here. Although if I knew more about showing and riding and was more confident in what I was doing, and was just a better rider, I might be tempted to go without a trainer to shows. I felt the whole weekend like it would be way less pressure. And I sometimes feel like I solve our problems better by ourselves.
Thanks everyone for your two cents. Now can you add a few more? I'm just really down on my riding right now. :/ Maybe I'll post a critique later in the critique section to see if you guys can help me find out why I'm doing like everything wrong.