The Riding Adventures of Aubrey: First Lesson!
 
 

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The Riding Adventures of Aubrey: First Lesson!

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        11-08-2013, 02:26 AM
      #1
    Foal
    The Riding Adventures of Aubrey: First Lesson!

    Hey y'all. First post too, how awesome? I've been stalking here for a month or two, decided it was time to register. Anywho, tomorrow I get back in the saddle for the first time in about a year.

    See, a bit of a background. Rode English dressage age 10-12 inconsistently, and then rode Hunter age 16-17, before meeting Paso Finos and trail for 17-18, all fairly inconsistent. Went off to college and planned on being on the Western Team, ended up taking about 2 months of a lesson a week with the reining/WP trainer, adored it, and then parents shot down the team.... I met a wonderful woman who owned 3 retired Working Reined Cowhorses and a 12 stall boarding barn, who was kind enough to take me in for 2 days every week, who began to teach me the ins and outs of owning and running a barn, paired with hours of mucking, grooming, saddle cleaning, pressure washing, blowing leaves every morning, arena raking, taking 12 horses out to pasture at 6am after applying spray and bell boots as needed, throwing hay, some more mucking, double checking everything, and occasionally a little bit of riding. Little did I know I even got a two hour lesson with a Jack Hennig, from the Appy World (https://appaloosa.com/association/hof/jhennig.htm) and many times talking with him without even realizing who he was until he left after my lesson. Got some trailering and show experience too, even got to take 4 QHs to a Veterinary and Chiro Clinic in Tampa, very cool experience. This amazing woman even working with me when I got it in my crazy head I wanted to be a Wrangler. And guess what?

    I got a job as a Wrangler out in WY. She helped me put together a video, gave me an outstanding recommendation and gave me the motivation to get out there and keep learning. I didn't end up taking the job (parents again, something I believe I will regret for a very long time), but the fact she and a ranch had faith in me to lead a group of non-horsey people through the woods and plains was so encouraging.

    But not being able to go left me a little too disappointed to show my face for awhile, and here I am nearly a year later, finally sick of putting excuses in the way of getting back on a consistent riding regimen!

    I made a lesson for tomorrow at 9:30am with my old trainer (the one who used to coach the university western team), and I am so excited and nervous. My ultimate goal is to get into Reining and eventually Reined Cowhorses, with the Arabian breed and even more eventually train my own BLM Mustang, and tomorrow might just be a first step in the right direction. (: I plan on telling my instructor just that I am comfortable walk/trot and still working cantering, because I feel I'm still not controlled enough on the lope for reining, but it should go over great. Still so nervous though! XD butterflies.

    I plan on posting here after each lesson, how it went, pictures, to have a "diary" of sorts of how I progress and encouragement and advice from members as I chase the dream. (:

    Note: if this isn't in the right spot, go ahead and move it! Thanks!


    A picture from about 2 years ago, after Paso's when I tried to get back into hunter and my trainer said I might like Western... It was a free lesson, so I went with it and never went back. I had so much fun- Western was everything I was looking for in riding. (:

    Post tomorrow!

    Edit: Can a Mod move this to rider journals? I didn't notice it I was so excited to post. :3 sorry!

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        11-08-2013, 03:39 AM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    Moved! Sounds like this will be very interesting . Welcome, new member!
         
        11-08-2013, 01:47 PM
      #3
    Foal
    The lesson today went well! I met my new trainer, who is the assistant who took over lessons from when I used to ride. She's an Arab lover in the western world, like me, so I'm smitten with her. (:

    I was put onto 'Moon', a big ole flea bitten QH, 18 years old and still jumping 3' H/J courses. He is owned by the farm owner's 14 year old daughter, who seems to be fairly nice. After taking a brief tour of the facility again, I got to take a few minutes to learn about Thoroughbreds and how they use Aqua-Treds (boxes with a treadmill and different levels of water that the horses are in) to strengthen the rehab horses. That was pretty darn fancy. (: The trainer had me in an Abetta Endurance saddle and a English bridle with Snaffle and split reins, paired with two yellow bell boots. What a strange tack get up. Functional! She explained the first lesson she always puts her riders with a snaffle to make sure they aren't heavy handed on the bit and to see how much leg power they had.

    It was explained to me that Moon was a lazy, stubborn horse who could move out beautifully but often needed spurs or a strong rider. With that in mind, she said she likes to use Moon with her riders who have a goal in mind (not just taking a lesson to take a lesson) to develop a strong rider who can really use their seat and legs to ride, not the bit (which is the end goal!). Oh my goodness. What a stubborn little gelding. >.<

    Lessons started off with half arena circles at a walk, evaluating my riding. Now, I'd been riding in a curb with Rommel reins neck reining, so going to a snaffle with two hands and contact was really weird. It threw off my seat a little, which showed in my legs. This trainer wants to put a new foundation on my seat and riding, and I'm going along with the "restart" she wants to do. We worked on the whole heels-down, toes in, hold with thighs, keep your heels off, hands down, thumbs up, shoulders back craziness that we all know and love... Spent about an hour working on keeping this stubborn gelding on the rail at jog and walk. It seemed like the trainer was a magnet and his circles just kept getting smaller.

    She did introduce side passes in the first lesson, which I thought was interesting! I had only started learning side passes after about 3 months with another trainer. But she was teaching it to get Moon against the fence when he was drifting.

    My brain was having so much difficulty with this nonsense of inside-rein/outside leg, outside rein/inside leg, inside/inside... Nonsense. I'm going to have to really start thinking about the cues, as Moon was just not having any of the 'I'm trying to do this but not doing it quite right but I hope ya do it anyway' cues. One new thing too is how much my new trainer focuses on lower body! I love it, because it is how I believe every rider should learn and such, but it just hasn't clicked yet. Things such as "driving a horse forward with my thighs" and "turn him with your butt" were not making much sense. I know eventually I will feel it click but not yet!

    Good tips for me to remember: •Always keep abs right while riding •don't even think about turning until you want to turn •the horse bends around your leg •reins turn the haunches opposite, legs bend horse into.

    After the lesson (and a very sloppy dismount, nearly fell!) I nearly skipped to the cross racks to untack, groom and love on little Moon, before putting him away. My trainer introduced me to her little Arabian (by Versace) Colt and I talked to a very happy farrier, before coughing up $45 and going to the car thinking about all the thigh exercises and butt muscles I need to be ready for next week!

    No pictures this time because my oh so lovely boyfriend decided not to leave the car the first time. Soon!
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