Should I try a different lesson barn?
I will give some info about my riding abilities first.
I have been riding since I was 8 years old. I walked and trotted at a barn in England for 2 years, took a year break and then moved to the states and took up western riding for 2 years. Then I took a break and started up lessons consistently since then. So I've ridden a total of around 11 years. Most of that instruction was iffy at best. I had a lot of confidence being on push button horses up until the past 4 nearly 5 years, where my confidence was tested.
I learned how to canter 3 years ago; I did lope some when I did western lessons but I was literally just hanging onto the horn for dear life.. no idea what I was doing.
So I can walk and trot well, canter pretty well, I've started to do some lateral movements and tried jumping once.
The problem I am facing is that my position has gone to crap. I used to always ride with a flat relaxed back, now it is really archy and stiff. My arms have become too poised due to the barn I was at previously, where I was expected to have them bent at 90 degrees and about 7 inches above the withers.
My ankles have always been really turned out but they're getting better. My posting is pretty good. My seat at the canter is fine.. but overall I don't feel I'm riding effectively.
The horse at the current place I am at, who I always happen to be on, knows his stuff but he does not accept contact. The instructor says he is like that with everyone..but then why am I learning more advanced things on him then when he isn't working properly?
I pay 65NZD for a group lesson (they don't over privates) and I have learned a lot, but I'm worried that I'm learning things that will not help me in the long run. She is fine with me using my elbows at the walk but wants me to lock them at the canter (????) I ride with two whips (talk about confusing) but never use them.
Should I try to find another barn that has horses that I am able to ride that accept contact if the rider is using themselves properly? Should I stick around? Should I ask to ride a different horse?
"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"