Emotional and frustrated training my horse *RANT*
For those of you who haven't followed the previous threads of the story of my horse, she is a young mare who was diagnosed this year with osteoarthritis. After being off for several months, we put her back under saddle last week.
Well, things aren't easy. I'm a novice rider. I've been riding since I was a young child, but I haven't been working with professionals very long. My horse was doing very well, but after being out of work, things have become a lot more difficult. I love my horse. She is so willing and her and I are a perfect team, but I find that the past couple of times I have been at the barn, it has turned from a place of peace to a place of stress (well, really only when I'm riding and directly after). Everything goes perfectly until it is time to get on my horse.
I'm working with a trainer who is fantastic, I've known him for a while but just recently began lessons with him. He is really helpful, encouraging to me and telling me to just be patient and to do nothing that makes me frustrated. We begin my lessons (as well as every ride) with lunging for about 12 minutes, then I will ride... but basically he is going to be riding her for the first 15 minutes of every lesson I have (which will be once a week).
My skills have gotten rusty because I haven't ridden in several months, and my new trainer is kind of re-vamping my dressage training, so for example, I'm learning how to use my LEG rather than my HEEL, and my horse has to get used to that as well.
But now little things like trotting in a straight line have become difficult because I can't keep my horse away from the wall, I literally hit myself into it. When my trainer rides her, he can have her frame up perfectly and trot around like she has been training for months, but when I do it, I can't even get her to trot for more than a few steps without running into the wall...
What is really frustrating me is that it ISN'T HER FAULT. She is an amazing horse and she has so much potential. I just don't know if I'm selling myself short. I have people at the barn, my friends, who are giving me tough love and telling me that I need to keep trying and that me saying I can't is really saying I won't... but I don't know. I understand them and I love them for trying to help but I am so frustrated with myself. I know my horse will come with time, but I keep getting mad at myself. WHY CAN'T I JUST DO THIS. Why can't I just get it right, why can't I go back to the way things were? I'm not mad at my horse, and I'm not frustrated at her. I'm frustrated at the situation and that I can't do it. And what is partially frustrating is also the fact that I know other people are judging me thinking that I'm not trying hard enough, when it's really that I just don't feel like I have the tools to do this properly. It's so hard because my trainer is telling me what I need to do, he gives me specific advice for all of my problems, but then I go to do it and I don't achieve results.
I don't know what answers I'm looking for. No, I don't want to sell my horse, and no, I don't want to get rid of her. And NO, I don't want to stop riding. It really is taking a toll on me though because right now I feel like I'm less of a rider than I was before. I feel like I've lost my "mojo" being a rider, and I feel like I'm doubting my own abilities. I suddenly feel kind of lame and uneducated, whereas before I felt like I was approaching being an intermediate dressage rider, which would have been a really big step for me.
If you read all of that, thank you. Like I said, I don't know what I'm looking for, but it seems like no one I know really understands what it is like being a novice rider with an inexperienced horse, because everyone else already has an experienced horse or they are an experienced rider with the tools to handle it....
God bless :)