...last week we tried to begin trotting. It was ridiculous. I was ridiculous.
First off, I could not get him to trot. I tried squeezing and squeezing and squeezing, but my out-of-use, forty-something muscles are pathetic and horsey kept on walking. My trainer ran him a little by gently holding the bridle and jogging with him. I realize now we could not have been going fast at all, because she was just very gently jogging next to his head.
Here is the the thing though, I was mess. I think I was coming out of the saddle a good six inches. The bottoms of my feet lost contact with the stirrups. It may have only been a tiny bit but it felt like a lot. My hands were kind of up and all over. Not all over really, but up higher than usual and higher thwn inknow they should be. Have I mentioned that English saddles don't have a saddle horn???
And here is the worst part: I added sound effects. Seriously. I was all, "Ooh! Oh! Oh my! Ok! Ok, that enough! Oh! Ok! Oof! Oh!" It. Was. Humiliating. And scary. And bouncy. And awful. I even told poor horsey as I was brushing him down that I was sorry for the loss of his dignity. It was that bad. (She did say I could post, but that was just up, bounce, up, bounce, with more oohing and ohing and generally ding a hot mess)
I am soooo frustrated and discouraged. I was able to do a posting trot on the pony I started on. Though she jumps for others, for me she had lazy little trot. Posting felt like being rubber-banded to her - stretching apart then coming back together. I was also able to handle the horse I recently went trail riding on at a local stable. He was a small/medium guy and we were in the back. We occasionally had to trot a few steps to get closer to the group. He was responsive to me, trotting when I asked and responsive to my whoa. Though I was ery scared at first, I became more confident as the ride when on because I was able to manage him. This is entirely different, and I feel ...well, frustrated and discouraged.
Is there anything I can do that will help me as I am learning this? This week at home I'm working on strength exercises for core, legs, and arms, knowing I need to increase my overall fitness. I know I need to keep my heels down, but not sure I have the skill and muscle memory to actually do that in the midst of the bouncing. There is a lot of power there.
I am wondering to if maybe I am just in the wrong discipline. I am riding with a hunt seat instructor. I was just looking for lessons, not a specific discipline, and this is where I landed. My trainer is very knowledgable -- I feel very lucky in that aspect. I also thought it would be a good challenge to try something new, so why not try English lessons. I have no intention of jumping, but thought it would make me a better rider overall. Maybe I should have gone somewhere for Western lessons instead? I know it is offensive to say Western is easier. I am sure that for riders who are truly skilled, it is NOT an easier discipline. However, as a beginner, riding with a loose rein means I wouldn't feel every tug of the horse's head, and the cozier saddle might make me feel a it more secure. Thoughts? I know I rambled...