So, lesson was today!
I felt less enthusiastic and excited about my lesson when I woke up today than I did yesterday, but only because yesterday was such a bad day. My field boots that I ordered off eBay didn't fit, even though I measured my foot and bought the size I'd tried on in the store. And the zipper to the neoprene zip case for my Macbook stopped working, so I can't zip it up; I have to leave the case open when I put my laptop in my backpack. I had placed my backpack by my bed and was getting my laptop out when it started to fall out of its case. I reached for it so fast I whacked my eye on the bedpost and now have a red mark near my eyebrow.
But once 2:30 rolled around, I was ready to ride! Good thing I still have my paddock boots and half chaps. It was a pretty easy drive there. The barn was nice, neat, and clean. I got put on a horse named Violet, who was a pinto - or could have been a paint, looked Quarter Horse-ish to me. I definitely needed a refresher course on grooming and tacking horses, though I did remember the curry comb takes circular motions.
But I did decently once I actually got on Violet. She was a lot more willing to trot than Impy, the horse I rode at my old barn. Our instructor had us posting (it was a group lesson - we had 3 people this time but are going to break it up into 2 and 1 next time) rather than sitting trot. I guess we'll get to REAL dressage once we get some more experience. At first I had a hard time figuring out if I was on the right diagonal, but when I was correct, it just felt...right. I don't know how else to describe it other than that. The horse's motion naturally helps lift you out of the saddle.
And I don't remember my first instructor at the old barn telling me this 6 years ago (maybe she did but hey, I was in 8th grade), but I got a lot of practice with turning - whenever you pull one of the reins, you squeeze with the opposite leg. It was an "aha" moment when the instructor told me, "You're not doing anything wrong, but you're not riding
the horse as much as you should be right now." After I knew that, I did a lot better. I admit I had some trouble staying up and centered in the posting trot when we went over some poles on the ground, but I improved by about the 6th time I did it.
All in all, my grand return to riding was just about all I expected and wanted it to be. I'm not as rusty as I thought originally, but I have a ways to go before I'll be riding dressage tests. But I'm here to learn. Our team instructor is wonderful, and very forgiving, yet lets you know what to do. And I'm happy that the other girl who will be sharing my lesson spot is an almost exact match with me as far as skill and experience. It was a good day. MUCH better than yesterday. But I don't want to have to walk up any stairs for the next few days