I have been looking for a trainer for Jake and I to start helping us get past the stage where I have hit a dead end in my 'self' training. But I had the problem of
1. No other trainers other than the BO allowed to teach on facility. (The BO is not at a level to help me.)
2. I don't have a truck to pull my horse trailer to another facility.
3. I can not find a boarding facility that I can afford and has a decent trainer.
Then as I was contemplating my problems as I was driving I turn to look at the stables that I ALWAYS stare at when I pass by. Its a beautiful facility with a large grass field with the cross countryish/show jumping set up. (embankments, ditches, hedge jumps.....ect) I have never heard of anything going on at this facility, but as I passed by I couldn't help but notice the sign that said "Boarding, lessons and training."
This place is practically a driveway before the stables I am at now. I can hand walk there...So I grabbed the number called and scheduled a tester lesson. Which...I ended up canceling because Jake went lame. He is trotting sound on soft ground now, but is more or less on stall rest with short hand walking.
I ended up deciding to try the lesson on a school horse instead. I loved the lesson, it was exactly what I needed, she pointed out that I have a horrible issue of not using my lower leg, at all. I always have distance between my calves and the horses sides. She went to explain that the root of my problems probably started here as I had no real sense of balance. She had me mostly doing a sitting trot and trying to engage the hindquarters at a walk/trot and I failed miserably. She took away my main source of balance, (which is Legs out, grip with knees and arms down) and I could barely keep myself together.
I also have been reminded why I love riding Jake and how all people who ride school horses are to be respected. The amount of leg and body control it took to get a nice moving trot felt like trying to rub my head, pat my tummy and do calculus at the same time. I was riding a very bouncy, skinny ( is wear there was nothing between my legs) TBred that took advantage of knowing that I wouldn't get after him for being slow (I knew it was my mistake that I couldn't get him to move, so the crop the trainer had me carry went unused....soon as I did it right he would step up into a moving trot....soon as I did it bad he slowed back down to a crawl). I wanted to tell her that I wasn't so inadequate on my own horse, cause she was dumbing things down for me a lot. I guess it will take time for her to learn what I know though.
My legs and stomach feel like they're going to fall off. But I really liked her (out of the other 4-5 trainers i've seen within the last year). She had a huge focus on ground work, rewarding calm but well moving behavior, slow, relaxed warm ups and basics before any jumping. I'm happy to say she sounds very good for Jake and me. =)
She also has George Morris come to the facility once a year for a clinic, I won't be participating this year in november but you bet I'm going to watch and bring a notepad!