LOL - honestly, Tinyliny, "mas confused" should be my first name .... it applies to more than just horses, I'm afraid!
Okay, so first lesson with new trainer went really well. She has an advantage by owning some *very* well trained horses. I rode one of them and she rode my gelding. There was no more talk of changing tack, although she rode Stormy in a Kimberwicke, as opposed to asking *me* to ride him in a Kimberwicke.
We worked on maintaining gait, proper foot position, the English version of roll-backs and using legs (mine) for turns. Her son worked with finding the "buttons" on my Western trained mare. All in all, I think a pretty successful day.
I'm guessing that her ideas on tack were given before we decided that I needed lessons as badly as my horses, as there were no more mentions of it. I think for the time being they feel most comfortable with their own tack.
My mare, Sass, was moving better than I had ever seen before - no more snake-face ugliness. Stormy, the gelding, wasn't terribly happy at first, but after a while he was bringing his ears up and had a softer face. I think that says a lot right there.
Thank you all again. And Sr. Dauphin, your article (Equitation vs. Horsemanship) was excellent, thank you. It never occurred to me to separate the two, but of course, I have had close to no actual equitation, which I'm starting to see is about as important as the Horsemanship, unless you want to really mess with your horse's head; without it, life is much more confusing .... although I do agree that Horsemanship can hardly be ignored.
Perhaps this is the one 4h leader that is good with horses and riding? Could be, maybe? I have heard that before, though -not a terrible surprise. Actually, have heard much worse when it comes to competition when it involves kids, horses and overly-expectant parents.