So for a while I have been kind of working with a trainer kind of not. It was really, more than anything else, her just letting me exercise her horses/do barn chores for riding time and maybe a little critique every once and a while. She really was a great lady but I obviously wasn't learning anything... So I switched to a brand new stable/trainer and thought I would start a journal so I can track my progress and have documentation of my journey.
Today I had my evaluation with my new eventing trainer. I got there, filled out the liability waiver, and she got me into a dressage saddle faster than I could comprehend. This was so exciting for me because if I am honest I have been anxiously waiting for this day for weeks. I haven't had a proper one on one lesson in a few years and even though I give lessons myself I haven't forgotten how nice it is to have someone else tell you what to do and how to do it! The horse I rode is a 12 year old bay Curly mare called Baby, and I adore her! She is very "touchtone" as my trainer calls it. She is trained to the point where if you shift your weight just a little too far she will turn/move laterally/stop/back up. So far this is a blessing and a curse! It really makes me think of what I am doing with each part of my body during the ride, at the same time though I don't know all of her "buttons" yet so what I think is asking for a turn on the forehand turns into a side pass *face palm*
It felt really good to be back in the saddle though and on such a responsive horse! It was so much different than the camp horses I have been slowly bringing back to life... We walked and trotted for most of the lesson, really just giving me time to figure out her buttons and have her get used to me. I have to work on steering more with my seat bones than with my legs and I have a very "hunter" position which my trainer wanted me to tone down for this particular lesson as it was dressage and we are building a base from there and working out. We did do a few rounds of cantering and OH MY GOSH!!! This mare has the smoothest canter in to whole world I wanted to do more but since she was just trying to see where I was at we only did a little of it. From there we worked on in gait transitions: slow, medium, and working walk, slow, medium, and working trot. Then some 20 meter circles to work on bending and then a cool down.
Needless to say I am in love with this place and am suuuuuper excited to come back! I am only going once a week at the moment but am hoping to up it to two times a week once it gets warmer/I get more $$$. Next Saturday I don't get to go though because it is spring break and The Boy and I are going to SC in hopes of catching some sun!
The Boy ended up taking a bunch of pictures and I will try to post some when he gets home from work. One thing I noticed though is that in some of the pictures when I am obviously trotting my lower leg seems to have come off of the horse, like it is swinging away from the mare's barrel... It is not like this in a lot of the pictures and I am just curious as to how I can stop this/what would be causing it... ? I don't think I am pinching with my knees, and my trainer never got after me about it so maybe I was just adjusting the stirrup or something... But it is a trait that I have seen in multiple pictures of myself riding over the years and yet I don't remember my first trainer (when I was riding everyday in middle/high school) ever getting after me about it either. I am curious how to fix it or if it is just going to take re-building the muscles in my calves because I haven't been super crazy consistent with riding every week unless it is the summer... I wonder if I am over thinking it...
No matter what though I am so excited for this next big step in my riding journey <3