I went with this person, we will call him D just because my BO suggested him and I didn't really want to "rock the boat," even though I am on waiting lists to get into other stables where I can better work with Cinny. Now my BO is a bit of a control freak to say the least and won't give me this guys last name so I can research him, nor will she give me his number. Instead SHE wants to always set everything up which is an issue because she has proven to be flaky and forgetful unless you are one of her 4H girls :(
But I digress. Back to tonight's lesson. It ended up being a semi private as some of the 4H girls were invited to and they of course got most of the attention. D did ask about Cinny's history and I simply told him that he has only bee under saddle 2 years, he was a previous pasture puff with some trust issues and that we have only just recently began to work on connection as it has taken me this long to get him to not toss his nose in the air whenever I pick up the reins as well as to get my hands quiet. I also need to improve halts and half halts.
Next thing I know he has me turning Cin man into a peanut roller riding on loose reins and "bumping" him whenever he puts his nose in the air. I had flash backs of my WP training back in the 80's. The 15 minutes of D's time that I got was spent with him telling me that my horse needs to get into "frame" and that he needs to learn to "frame up" before we move on. So now I'm thinking of the pyramid of training...Rhythm, relaxation, connection, impulsion, straightness, collection and trying to figure out at which level "framing up" is part of because I thin we are just leaving "relaxation" and going into "collection" at this time in our training. If any of you know which step "framing up" fits in to, please chime in. I always thought it was somewhere AFTER connection but I could be wrong.
There are a lot of things that D says that I agree with, like where the saddle should be placed, tack fit, etc etc. Asking my horse to be a peanut roller has me baffled. I think it is great for working Cin's topline and I think I may include the long lows, but somehow I don't feel like concentrating on his frame is going to move us forward. Again, chime in if I am wrong.
So then we are done, we untack and my BO chimes in "why don't you tell D what level you want to go to and ask if Cinny can get there." This opened up a BIG can of worms! I stated that my goal with Cinny is to reach a 60 in training level at the local schooling shows. It would be fun to see how far he can go but I don't think he will go much further than 1st level.
Well, basically D says Cinny pretty much sucks eggs and that I will only ever get embarrassing scores out of him because he simply does not float and judges only want to see nice pretty floaty horses in the Dressage ring, even at local schooling shows. In fact, he was surprised that we ever got above 55 in Training level as my horse just really sucks THAT bad. He says Cinny is smart and can be trained and learn how to use his body but he basically should stay out of the show ring to save everyone the embarrassment.
I am not looking to go to the Olympics. I'm not looking to go to FEI shows, or big recognized shows. I want to have fun improving my horse and seeing what he can do at fun, local schooling shows. I'm starting to get the feeling that maybe I can't find a really great trainer who WANTS to work with me because I don't have a serious, olympic grade Dressage horse that will make them look like the most fabulous trainer in the world. I kind of understand, if a horse isn't just FABULOUS in the show ring, why would a trainer want their "stamp" on it?
But at the same time, what is a person, like me...who wants to have fun and improve their riding and their horse to do if they can't find a trainer that wants to work with an ordinary person and an ordinary cow horse?
I am feeling a little degraded today and very defensive of my Cinny. Tomorrow morning I have another trial lesson with another trainer who is just starting out but is well known in the area as a great coach and rider. I will be working with her lesson horses first, which I think will help me a lot. I hope she works out a bit better. I know she fits in to my schedule WONDERFULLY but I know I can't let that influence me as to who to pick.
Any comments, words of wisdom, advice, or attitude adjustments are welcome.