In a negative mindset about my riding.. please help?
Hi! Hope this is the right board to post this, if not it can be moved to somewhere more suitable. I'm Bracken and this is my first post on this forum after a very long time lurking..
I'm 18 years old and have been riding in a riding school weekly for 2 years now. (Rode quite a bit when I was younger but had a break for several to pursue ballet dancing which I have given up) I am a part of a "Pony Club for children who don't own a horse" where we meet every fortnight for a 2 hour lesson and every other week I have a 1 hour group lesson with the girls in my PC group. I can't wait until the next 5 or so years when I can hopefully, after University, buy my own horse to be able to spend as much time as I want with it.
Here is where I am starting to have some problems.. The last 6 months (from April) I have been having an increasingly more negative attitude with my riding lessons. I do still enjoy horse riding and just spending time with the horses, I just feel disconnected with the riding school horses as I know they are not my own and there is almost always someone hovering around when I'm grooming/tacking up making me feel like I'm being judged by the people. I also feel time pressures because I would love to spend more time grooming and just generally hanging around the horses, but there is always the pressure of being ready for your lesson and then quickly untacking the horse so I don't leave my father waiting too long. (I don't have my full driving license yet so need someone to be in the seat next to me)
Another thing which puts me in a bad mind-set is that for my experience, I am pretty old in the riding school. There is no one my age who is in similar lessons to me (except for my friend who I bring out every now and again), anyone close to my age in the riding school have their own horses. I am the oldest member in the pony club, the closest age to mine being 13-14. Although next year I do plan to leave the pony club and just continue private lessons every fortnight because I'll be working full time next year. I also hope to be able to find a horse to exercise, to give myself more horsey time.
Other petty thing that seems to annoy me is the horses I get, I have a few (two or three horses) that I like but they are also popular with the other students as well. So I usually get a string of random horses depending on who is available. It's never consistent, meaning I almost always have a different horse every week which I suppose is good because I get to ride a somewhat wide variety of horses. However there have been times where I havenít been happy with the horses they put me on, today for example I was put on a 4 year old gelding. Who, although lovely he is extremely nappy and I feel like I am not experienced enough to ride him properly. I knew today that he had already had an hour lesson that morning so I didn't really ask him to do much, he also felt extremely tense through his neck and back which could have been something to do with me but it didn't make me feel too great about riding him. In that lesson we just did some small course jumping of around 60-70cm (another thing I donít agree on with a horse that young.) I only did the course twice and then decided to end it there as I have never been a confident jumper at all and I felt like I would ruin him or give him a bad experience.
Anyway, I wish I could get myself out of this negative mind-set because I always come back from my lessons feeling bitter about something. I have almost got to the point where I have just felt like Iím not enjoying it anymore and should just give up as itís a waste of $45 a week if I keep coming back in a foul mood. I do enjoy it, and am pretty much holding out until I can get my own horse, or more horse time. It feels pretty good when a lesson actually goes well and I feel like Iíve achieved something. Like when I managed to get a few shoulder-ins (albeit a small attempt but good enough) on a horse that had never in his life done a shoulder-in before, which made me feel pretty good considering I had only done a successful shoulder-ins on one other horse who knew what he was being asked to do.
Anyway, Iím sorry for the long drawn out post and I hope it makes some sense because I'm not great at writing. I just really needed somewhere to vent to horsey people as my parents would say ďJust give it up then.Ē which doesnít help. I know itís just a mind-set thing but I just donít know how to get out of it.