General response to @NavigatorsMom
, and @Whinnie
who made similar comments:
I’ll ask about the recording. People are probably right that she’ll be fine with it (not sure if she’ll do it for me during lessons or not, but we’ll see). Heck, it’s not like there aren’t lots and lots of pictures of the horses, people schooling (mostly jumping), competitions, etc. all over the site and facebook (mostly facebook), and I know she does some video of the horses as well. I just feel weird interrupting our lesson time - but I’ll ask.
As to notches: yeah, wasn’t quite sure what to call them. The thing is that as small as they are, I can feel when the stirrup slides up to them and it’s been helping me figure out exactly where I want my feet.
It's called TEACHING SAFE HORSEMANSHIP, by Jan Dawson, President of the American Assoc. for Horsemanship Safety.
It's meant for instructors to read and riding stables, so very heavily emphasizes how eager people are to file lawsuits and how any lack of due diligence by stable owners can very easily get them into trouble. If you want to be sure your trainer stays in business so can teach you and keep these fabulous horses she seems to have, might want to introduce her to some of the things in this book, as after reading this book, she looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
I’ll add it to my wishlist (as I have quite a pile I am reading right now), but to be honest I am not going to be presumptuous enough to read a book and start suggesting to my instructor how she should run things in a general sense or advise on things I am not an expert on. I may ask her to swap up a lesson plan for me
to meet a specific need of mine (as a much rawer beginner than she usually tries to train) but presuming to wade into liability law… I know just enough to understand just how little I know of her situation. I’ll leave those discussions to be between she and her insurance firm.
As to my own safety (something of more concern to me personally) - I’m a little torn. I do actively want to develop the skills required to catch from the herd. This stable requires it for their normal operations - as does the one I am looking at possibly leasing from. The real question is how much instruction to get from where I am currently to there, and how to minimize risk in that instruction. I’m not sure how much better of an approach there is to going out there supervised - perhaps an intermediate step of going out there and watching her do it… but to be honest I’m not sure from a risk-perspective that would have really been any better for her
to be the one distracted trying to halter the horse while I was standing in the herd watching her, rather than me being the one slightly distracted haltering the horse and her being able to look over the whole situation and react to things… it’s all arguable.
Overall though, it’s a skill I both need and want to develop.
Many people here have said that you need to have patience, it won't always be exciting, and if done according to this book, which does talk about lunge line at trot and canter until sure people have balance, for you it would probably be pretty dull, but at least you might realize there was a reason for taking more time and learning safer habits.
It’s interesting that this is the feedback I keep getting on the forum because it’s quite different from the feedback I usually get in person. I actually really don’t mind time spent perfecting things - I can and will happily practice a skill or activity until I feel it’s just right
and more often than not my over-emphasis on being a perfectionist is where I have tended to garner some criticism - especially in the early stages of learning something. I’ve actually worked pretty hard over the years to accept that I will make little mistakes, not get frustrated with myself, and move forward rather than trying to go over the same things again and again until I’m satisfied with them.
I’d be happy running around a lunge line for an entire lesson ironing out what every little muscle should be doing - it's kind of my comfort zone. Though admittedly, one of the things I like about this instructor is that she’s constantly pushing me past that and not letting me become too fixated on anything before I’ve got something else to deal with. Part of me wants to sit there and nitpick, but by that point I’m already off being challenged in a different way that requires my full attention.
The only impatience I’ve had thus far with any of this is my lack of ability to practice. I understand that right now I just don’t have the requisite skills and knowledge to do so safely on my own, but I feel almost a sense of (I know misplaced) guilt - like I am not doing any homework between lessons. Whenever I’ve had private lessons in anything previously I have always been studious in ensuring that my time in lessons is for getting corrections on my work and being taught new things - as a way of showing the instructor that I value and appreciate their time, and that I am serious about learning the things I am being taught. Obviously, the situation I’m in now doesn’t allow for it - but that feeling lingers.