So, MAJOR update!
Had my first lesson with a new trainer. AND I LOVE HER!! We are ditching the clinician we'd been going to in favor of her. He served his purpose to help me overcome my fear of falling again and to sit up and not clamp down. But he'd been asking us to do things I didn't agree with (IE making Izzie go from walk to canter and basically running/falling into the canter). Convinced Nick to just let me try her once and we would decide after the lesson. Well there wasn't any real decision making. We're sticking with her. She nailed exactly what I was doing wrong. Basically I found myself just becoming a passenger and letting Izzie get away with far too much (which was only worsened by this clinician who had me doing stuff that was WAY different than the formal training I had in Michigan). Yesterday, I rode. And I mean really rode. Izzie and I were very sweaty and thrilled after this ride. I had an actual stretch from her! She became so supple and I could put that inside hind leg where ever I wanted it! AND we had perfect, prompt canter departs into an extremely lovely, supple, on contact canter. I almost cried I was so happy!!
A little bit about before the ride. We were terrified trying her out. This trainer has been doing extremely well showing, and so have her students (which shows she can train as well as ride very well). She's gone to Europe at least twice that I've known of, and imported awesome horses to sell here. Her current mount apparently was for sale at one point for $300k (according to my former farrier). So we were terrified we would be out of place with our four horse, slant load, stock type trailer and my little half Arab/paint cross. We pulled in, and immediately were welcomed by one of the barn staff, and one of the other riders who told me good luck, what she seemed to be working with today, and that she will be honest but nice. And boy was she spot on!!
And here's stuff to make one's ego bigger. She complimented Izzie on all three gaits! GAH! AND said we really lucked out on how nice she is from what I said (I told her we were afraid she'd have an ugly neck and be 3 inches downhill). Said she really has a nice sport horse look to her, and was talking about eventually doing flying lead changes! That's a higher level than I ever imagined for Izzie and I! And that she reminded her of her daughter's horse who is half Arab/Hanoverian cross. She also asked us to move in with her, which I SOOO wish we could!! May take a look at our finances next year and see if we can swing having her live up there. I don't think it'll happen this year. Also, I just really liked the feeling there. The place we went for the clinic would charge to use a stall to let the horse pee after the ride. Here, we were allowed to use the wash rack, use a stall, and offered water for nothing extra. It honestly felt like I've finally found where we belong, and I couldn't be happier.
Oh, and I introduced her to KAHABA since her daughter's horse is a Kentucky bred Arab ;)
I don't think I'll be coming down off of cloud 9 for a very long time lol