First of all, I do think that actually buying the book "Centered Riding" by Sally Swift is something every rider should do. The illustrations are priceless and the riding theory is absolutely applicable for everyone. Regardless of if you stay with the coach or not, this is quintessential reading. My copy is all dog eared, wrinkled and beat up from years of referencing it.
Second of all, at some point in your riding you will need to get over being scared of instructors. I used to be terrified of "BNTs" (mostly from a scarring childhood experience but that's another story!) and now I can actually sit down and have a conversation with the big names in my sport and I have learned soooo much!! You just have to remember that every rider is also a person, and people are all the same (basically), they are not aliens or Gods, as much as some might believe it. Really, all your coach wants you to do is learn to ride well, for the sake of her horses, and for your sake. There does need to be a healthy respect and a little fear is natural, but realize that she is trying to help you.
Finally, with the horse not trotting. Our horses are the BEST teachers. Our trainers and coaches are just guides. The horse was not trotting because you were all out of whack. There probably was lots of tension in your body, and an imbalance and the horse did not want to trot in fear of you falling off. Horses do not like when riders fall off!
I think it would be useful for you to do some meditation or yoga, once a week in an instructed class, and then on the way to the barn practice your meditation. Focus on your breathing even when tacking the horse up and "zen out" before you are on the horse. For me when I am driving to the barn I crank my tunes and zen out that way, and at a show I always take at least 5 minutes to close my eyes and meditate, alone, before I ride. Triggers also help. You can program triggers at the gym, work out, raise your heart rate - and then slow your work out or stop, focus on breath, slowing your heart rate and think of a trigger like the word "calm" or the color blue, or anything really! As you repeat this over weeks and months, your heart rate will begin to slow when you think of your trigger, regardless of the situation. A slow heart rate is a calm one!
There are lots of cool sports psychology things to do, but those are my two favorites. Eventually you will get really comfortable in your "zen zone" and regardless of where you are, who is teaching you, what horse you are on and who is watching, you will be able to ride calmly and effectively.
They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
Last edited by ~*~anebel~*~; 12-17-2012 at 02:40 PM.